What makes Blues sound like Blues to me? ブルースが自分にとってブルースらしく聞こえるのは?

The other day I had a brief conversation with Ariyo, the renowned Japanese blues pianist who resides in Chicago, as to what makes blues sound like blues for our generation. We came to the same point that it is not the phrases that you play, but the persuasiveness of, or the “feel” of each note that you play. 

先日、シカゴ在住のピアニスト有吉須美人さんと話していて、意見が一致したことがある。ブルースの演奏を聴いてそれが我々の世代に “らしく“ 聴こえるかどうかは何が決め手になるのかということだ。それは楽器のフレーズから来るものではではなく、その音一つ一つが持つ “味” なのだと。 


The electrified Chicago Blues saw its heyday in the 1950s through 60s, and was imported to Japan in the 70s. Therefore, in my humble opinion, without digging the legacy of blues from those eras, you would only be scratching the surface. 

1950年代から60年代にシカゴで栄えたエレクトリック・ブルースは、70年代に日本に導入された。だからその時代のシカゴブルースの遺産を掘り下げずして、ブルースの形だけを真似ようとしても、それは “仏造って魂入れず“ でしか無いのでは。 


In my younger days, I was into rock music till I encountered Otis Rush’s guitar in my high school years. I have been deep into so called the Chicago Westside guitar blues since then. It is not retro me trying to go back to the old times, but it has been the sound I had a lust for from the beginning. 



Blues is about people’s life, and therefore, it reflects what is in you - the air you breathe and the water you drink daily may have some effect on how you play the blues. The emotion you put into the music has little to do with the music charts or the volume of the music. 



Indeed, the sound of Chicago Blues has changed with time mostly. As long as there is soul behind it, no matter how contemporary the blues scene of Chicago has become, I am still drawn to it. 



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