I believe it was 15 years ago. I was taken by friends to see Incognito, who were playing live at the Blue Note jazz club in Aoyama, Tokyo.
Incognito is a jazz, funk and soul band active since the dawn of the so-called Acid Jazz movement. Their brand of music is melodic with a group sensibility, and besides, I like their distinctive style that they have carried throughout their career. They are one of the bands I have always been fond of. A particular favorite of mine is ‘A Shade of Blue’ from their album ‘Beneath the Surface’. When I listen to it while walking along the streets at night after work, the mellow melody truly pierces my soul. Truly the best of times.
So during the encore of that performance at the Blue Note, what the leader Jean -Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick said to the audience as he reappeared on the stage left quite an impression on me.
“We travel to play music live to the countries of the world. The travel itself is exciting, but it isn’t easy to play the same songs in the same set list day-in-day-out. There are times where it’s hard to maintain the motivation to play. But in times like these, when we hear the crowd from the audience like tonight, we say to ourselves to ‘go for it’. So we want to express our gratitude from the bottom of our hearts.”
Even in our work, though here are times we have to have that burst of energy; it is difficult to maintain excitement at a certain level. However, what we find the most rewarding as we make our products and is the source of our motivation has to be when we receive positive responses from our customers. I understand all the more to this day what Bluey was feeling that night.