I was contacted in 2001 by Mondo Grosso,
the Japanese Electronica group and brought to New York to write the words & melody for Don't Let Go which was produced
by Shinichi Osawa and released along with his Indian Song on Sony Music, Japan.
Then in November Ken Yanai and Kei Kobayashi from Tokyo, DJs in the dance club scene contacted me. They had discovered my old vinyl Polydor albums and played them in their sets on the dance club circuit. Toe Hold had become quite popular and they asked me to re-record my old acoustic version of Born Under a Bad Sign here in Canada. It was sent to Japan and re-mixed by Yukihiro Fukutomi adding bass, drums, keyboard et al to fill out the track and take it to a "whole 'nother level" dance mix. It was released as part of Kei Kobayashi's compilation cd Routine on February 2002 Polydor/Universal Japan.
In 2002 Yanai-san and Kei-san flew me to my beloved Japan, after thirty nine years of absence,
to record a live album at the club Space Lab Yellow in Tokyo for Polydor/Universal/Japan: to be called Live at Yellow.
It features Kester Smith on drums, Bill Rich on bass (Taj Mahal's Rhythm Ambassadors), and brilliant saxophonist Kayoko Kimura sitting in on two tunes. I got to tour dance clubs in Fukuoka, Kyoto, Kagoshima, & Kumamoto with Kei-San & Yanai-San, playing a live set between the DJ's. After the first couple of shows, I even got to play guitar solos over some of the DJ's tracks. The crowds were enthusiastic and very surprised to discover that I had grown up in Japan and speak Japanese...and I was thrilled to be home again!
DJs on the road, Kyushu
Kodaiji Temple, Kyoto
I was so happy to be back in Japan that I took an extra week to visit
Kyoto, centre of old Japan's classic beauty, and then Kobe where I had lived from
the age of two until graduating from Canadian Academy at seventeen.
There, I spent time with close family friends, and finally travelled on to Tokyo to visit
a school chum from Canadian Academy days. If only I could have have fit Japan into the plane
and brought everything & everyone back with me!