Tokyo Jazz Festival 2012

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Tokyo Jazz Festival 2012

Purists are given short shrift at Japan's biggest – and least catholic – jazz fest, which marks its 10th anniversary at Tokyo International Forum this year. Indeed, it's hard to know what to make of the first of Tokyo Jazz Festival's main concerts, which showcases the songwriting talents of Ben E King, Burt Bacharach and Take 6 – hardly the most notable of jazzers, it must be said. Things promise to hew closer to Blue Note territory during the rest of the weekend, with appearances from Ornette Coleman, Bob James, Esperanza Spalding and her Radio Music Society, Makoto Ozone and many others. The main concerts are complemented by more intimate shows across the road at the Cotton Club, plus free gigs held in TIF's open-air plaza. See the official website for a complete timetable.