Most Wanted! Yasuko Agawa – L A Night (Invitation)
The feeling is instantly warm and familiar. From her 1984 released ‘Gravy’ album, Japanese singer Yasuko Agawa echoing to Light Of The Word‘s famous ‘London Town’. Quite a challenge when thinking of the status of this early Brit-Jazz anthem. Even though the presences of Augie Johnson and Victor Feldman, responsible for the string arrangements and the vibraphone part of the original, aptly speak for themselves.
A cover version, this is? Eurgh, more of an adaptation… If not an extrapolation with different lyrics which Miki Howard wrote for the cirucumstance. And it pretty much does it good. Bringing us from the capital of Britain to the warm climate of the Pacific Cost of America. ‘L A Night’, as one might guess, most likely sounds like an ode to the sweetness of the nights in the capital of California.
Hedonism is just what this smooth jazzy joint is about. A gem which, no surprisingly, would also find a home in England when released on Bluebird Records. Although with what appears as a writing mistake (titled ‘L.A. Nights’). And leaving me (once again) with a clear preference for the Japanese pressing… Of a way better quality.
Stop press: HMV Record Shop (Japan) has recently put out a 3 track EP featuring a Previously Unreleased Extended Version of it. With warm thanks to long time friend Betino Errera at Betino’s Record Shop in Paris for the info. And even though it’s not available from his site, he managed to have a bunch of copies available from the shop. As for the rest, it’s up to you…