Lily 2LP O Genki…

Lily 2LP “O Genki Desu Ka” – Japan Blues

Lily’s early life runs parallel to an untold story of post-war Japan, that of the marginalised hafu – children of half Japanese / half foreign parents. Likely to be a target, a vessel for the bitterness, from the humiliation of the American Occupation, to the buried guilt of Japan’s own atrocities, enacted on their Asian neighbours. Her troubled formative years – an absent father, and losing her mother in her teens – possibly contributed to the development of the bluesy edge of her vocal style, or maybe it was the smoke from the jazz bar her mother ran.

As with many outsiders of the 60s and early 70s, she turned up in Tokyo’s Shinjuku, a famed spot for many a writer, actor, artist and musician. It was here that her songs first aired and she was swiftly booked to record her music. With a groove set in stone by her Bye-Bye Session Band – later including Ryuichi Sakamoto and jazz keyboardist Hiroshi Sato – this selection covers her 70s period, with strong seams of soul, funk, touches of folk- and space-rock, and her signature (in Japan) heartbreaking ballads.

Compiled by Howard Williams, with fold out liner notes insert, written by Lily’s original producer, Yukiji Teramoto and  translated by Alan Cummings, with the photography of Jin Tamura.


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