Selected by Dan Grunebaum

David Sylvain

Both as a singer with the romantic group Japan, and as a frequent collaborator with Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Sylvian has always had a thing for this country. And with the affection mutual, Sylvian can expect a devoted audience in his two upcoming shows at the venerable Nakano Sun Plaza.

Hailing from Kent, England, Sylvian first came to notice as the enigmatic voice and personality of Japan, a group which still commands a cult following two decades after its demise. After Japan broke up in 1982, Sylvian recorded with Sakamoto, with whom he had already collaborated on the Japan track, "Gentlemen Take Polaroids." The pair' song, "Bamboo House," reached number 30 in the UK, and the collaboration continued with "Forbidden Colours," recorded for the soundtrack to the film Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence.

Sylvian's best stab at the charts happened in 1984, when the widely acclaimed album Brilliant Trees reached the UK top 5. But he soon gained a reputation as a difficult and demanding artist, and has preferred to remain on the experimental fringes of pop, where he continues to work with an elite crew of session musicians, culled especially from the New York downtown scene after his move there in the '90s.

After a long hiatus, Sylvian reappeared on the scene in 1999 with his much overdue solo album, Dead Bees on a Cake. The album featured contributions from, in addition to Sakamoto, guitarists Bill Frissell and Marc Ribot, and British Indian drum'n'bass star Talvin Singh on tabla.

Last year, a double album of previously unreleased tracks and "best of" selections, Everything and Nothing, provided an impressive retrospective on a 22-year career.

David Sylvian plays Nakano Sun Plaza on September 20-21. See listings for details.

Concert Listings
394: Regurgitator
393: Art Garfunkel


392: Belle and Sebastian
391: Super Furry Animals
390: Ben Folds
389: Elton John
388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
382: Fuji Rock Festival 01
381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana