Play My Blues
Prdouced by Kazuo Takeda
1. It’s My Life
Baby (D. Robey)
2. Leaving Blues (T. Chung)
3. One Sunny Day (T. Chung)
4. Natural Ball (T-Bone Walker)
5. Dust My Broom (Robert Johnson)
6. Drinking Blues (T. Chung)
7. Play My Blues (T. Chung)
8. One Step At A Time (J. Winter)
9. Can’t Stop Loving (T. Chung)
10. Last Nite (Little Walter)
11. Roll On (T. Chung arr. by K. Takeda)
11. Lonesome Blues (traditonal)
Mastered at Tokyo Aoyama JVC/Stuido Tokyo in September 1995
Re-mastered by Sean Nova at Sonic Mastering Studios in L.A. in January 2002
Tracks from "Play My Blues" :
Can't Stop Loving The Blues
In 1995, I went to Eggs & Shep and JVC/Victor Studio to record my first ever recording. My producer was Mr. Kazuo Takeda. Mr. Takeda has been one of my idols since I was 17 years old. Mr. Takeda is undsiputed number one guitarist in Japan and one of the best in the world. With Mr. Takeda producing my recording, I cannot say it is a dream come true, because I had never in my wildest dream thought one day I would be sitting side by side with Mr. Takeda. The back-bone musciains on the recording are no less than Mr. Takeda's own backing band.
In August, I arrived in Japan with all my guitars. I did not know what to expect, I was in a new environment, in the company of many new faces. I was stricken with anxiety when I suddenly found myself in top class studios playing with some of the best musicians in Japan. But the days which ensued at Eggs & Shep Studio and JVC/Victor Studio turned out to the some of the best times I ever had in my life. I played music everyday, I was in the company of some fo the finest musicians and engineers who understand music and love the Blues. The days at JVC Studio and Eggs & Shep Studio bring to me memories of a life time. That was the first time I experienced what life is like to play music full time.
I thank Mr. Kazuo Takeda for opening my eyes to music, for showing me the light, for teaching me the right attitude in music and for his patience with me. I cannot even begin to find words to say thank you to Mr. Takeda. I am so grateful and I am indebted to the great man for life. Mr. Kazuo Takeda handed to me the key to open the door of music on which I had be knocking blindly for so many years.
We had such a good time making the recording in Japan that we decided to do a show in Hong Kong. Mr. Takeda and his band came to Hong Kong and we played a show at the A.C. Hall. There were several venues open to me at the time to do the show, but I chose A.C. Hall because that was the place when I first saw Mr. Takeda played live in Hong Kong with is band Creation some 20 years ago. Twenty years ago I was one of the audience. Twenty years later I was on the same stage with Mr. Takeda and his band. I could hardly believe it. In more ways than one, it was dream come true.
For "Play My Blues", I wrote several songs. But I can credit for writing them, with the Blues, you can only give it credit. The arrangement of "Roll On" was Mr. Takeda's arrangement. Mr. Takeda played rhythm and solo guitar on the track and what a solo it turned out to be. And some arrangement was that. Thank you again Mr. Kazuo Takeda.
Kazuo Takeda producer and guitars on Roll On
Shinsuke Sasai : drums
Yoko "Sunny Girl" Hashimoto : harp
Yuji Tochihara: bass
Takashi Neko : piano
Shigetoshi Naito : Chief engineer at JVC/Victor Studio and Eggs & Shep Studio
Keizo Awano : Assistant Engineer at JVC/Victor and Eggs & Shep Studio
Higuchi :Chief Engineer at Eggs & Shep Studio
Tommy Chung : Electric, acoustic and slide guitars & vocals
Gutiars used for recording Play My Blues
Audiophile Magazine Review No. 1
HiFi Magazine Review No. 1
HiFi Magazine Review No.2
Tower Records Review
Audiophile Magazine review No.2
B.C. Magazine Review
Play My Blues is distributed by EMI Group Hong Kong Limited and is availaible at most CD shops and is availiable at 48th Street Chicago Blues .
Play My Blues is distributed by Japan by BSMF Records. My special thanks to Masato Nushimura for putting my CD up in Japan.
My special thanks to my friend Masato Nishimura for putting my CD in distribution in Japan.
Original Liner Notes of Play My Blues
My work has nothing to do with music and far less with the Blues; my work is perhaps the most unmusical job imaginable. I don’t get to play with a band every night, or for that matter, every other night, every month or every other month. That, however, perhaps places me in a position of advantage over and above those fortunate enough to make a living playing music; it makes me treasure and enjoy so much more whenever opportunity permits me to play alone or with a band, with or without an audience and sing the Blues. To me, a minute spent playing music is a minute earned. Music changed my life but the Blues changed my world. Ever since that day when I bought my first Fleetwood Mac record (the one with the dustbin cover) at Boots in Nothampton, there has hardly been a day passed without the Blues. The Blues has been a part of my life for so long and my feeling for it so deep that I feel my life will be unfulfilled and I could never make peace with myself unless I make a conscious effort to record the music that had been the driving force of my life. The initial idea was to put together a band of Hong Kong musicians to record the songs in this Cd. I did have such a band and “All Blues” it was called. Alas, music always take a backseat in Hong Kong. Due to circumstances, some excusable others not, one after the other, each member of my band walked out so that in the end I felt not unlike a captain in ship in the middle of the sea without a crew and I nearly had to call it a day.
As fate would have it, I came to know one of my all-time idols Mr. Kazuo Takeda in the most fortuitous circumstances when he came to Hong Kong in January 1995. Mr. Takeda is the finest guitarist in Japan, a true master or rock, Jazz and the leader of Creation, the first Japanese band to tour in the United States and later to form a fruitful partnership with the late Felx Papalardi. But for me, Mr. Takeda’s most memorable moments are when he plays and sings the Blues. When we first met, I was daunted by the presence of the man whom I had admired and made one of my all-time heros for so long. As we got to know each other, I was touched by his love of music, his patience and benefited greatly his vast experience. Mr. Takeda agreed to be my producer and undertook to procure all the musicians and make all the tiresome but necessary arrangements for recording my music in Tokyo. So, one sunny day, I packed my guitars and left Hong Kong for Tokyo, faced with the daunting prospect of recording my music, for the first time, in a professional studio, playing with a band I have never met.
Unknown to me, the days which ensued were probably the most enjoyable times in my life. When it was all over, those days at Egg & Shep Studio and JVC/Victor Studio brought to me memories of a lifetime. In those short but joyful days, I played with top professional musicians, recorded with engineers from Japan who love music and love the Blues.
At award winning occasions, you hear over and over again without so and so’s help it would not have been possible. For the first time, I came to appreciate this tired and well-worn phrase. Without the help of Mr. Takeda, the music in this Cd would probably never be recorded and, if it did, certainly not in the way and in the manner in which it was played and recorded. No record company in Hong Kong was interested in the beginning and none was interested in the end; as a matter of fact they were both reluctant and disinterested just to distribute the Cd. That’s alright, because I am interested but that interest in the end amounted to a very substantial drain of my resources. I would prefer to think this is just the beginning but I know this is the beginning of the end as I have to face the realities of life and step back in line. I know I may never come this way again.
I would like to thank my parents, my girlfriend Connie and my friends for their unconditional and unailing support and their faith in me. I would like to thank also Mr. Masa Oya at JVC/Victor Studio for his hospitality. I would also like to thank Sam Jor of Music Week for helping this Cd see the day of light. Lastly I thank our musical forefathers who gave us a world of Blues and makes life so much more worth living for.
What you have in your hands is the first Blues recording ever released in Hong Kong. I certainly take no credit for it; with the Blues you can never take credit, you can only give it credit. Well, that’s my story. In the meantime, it’s Blues time!
Liner Notes to the re-mastered Play My Blues
In 1995, I went to Japan to record my first ever recording. I walked into the studios with trepidation and unease. The days which followed turned out to be some of the most enjoyable moments of my life. When it was all over, those days at JVC/Victor Studio and Eggs & Shep Studio brought to me memories of a life time. In those short but joyful days I played with some of the best players in Japan, recorded with engineers who love and understand the Blues.
My producer Mr. Kazuo Takeda is one of my heros of all times. I thank him with all my hear and I am forever grateful to him. I own him so much I cannot even begin to put it into words. Thank you again.
I would like to thank all the musicians who played with me who contributed so much to the music here. I would like to thank Mr. Masa Oya for his hospitality at JVC/Victor Studio.
Play My Blues was
released in Hong Kong in the summer of 1996. Since its release, I received
so much support from my friends and fans that it is only proper for me
to say thank you to all of them here. In January 2002, the recording was
re-mastered by Mr. Sean Nova at Sonic Mastering Studios in L.A., U.S.A.
A sad note
Sean is friendly, soft spoken and one of the most polite person I have ever met. He loves music and has good ear and what it takes to bring out the best colour in any kind of music in mastering and re-mastering. I think Blues Talk is good evidence of Sean's talent. Sean is also a musician himself. Sean also re-mastered my first CD Play My Blues. When I was at Sonic Mastering Studios, I had had the choice to look through the CDs Sean Mastered or re-mastered. It was a very impressive catalogue, from Blues to Rick to Jazz, Sean seems to have done it all. In August, 2003, I talked to Sean about the mastering of the CD I was to record at the end of this year. I was looking forward to meeting with him and working with him again the end of this year.
On 17th September, 2003, I received an e-mail from Sean's friend informing me that that Sean had died of electricution whilst fixing something in his new house. I was shocked and was deeply saddened by it. Life is so fragil. Sean died in his early thirties; so much talent, so much life wiped out in so short an instance. Whilst I cannot say I am his best friend, I am truly aggrieved by his death. Sean will be missed. My deepest condolences to Sean's family. I will always remember him.
Some pictures of Sean courtesy of Tom Branom. My heart goes out to the family of Sean.
BSMF Records are the Japan distributor of Blues Time.
Click here for their website.