Praise be to the garage sale gods

While visiting my parents recently, I was browsing through my dad’s latest garage sale finds and came across this banger of an album:

Not gonna lie, the gatefold image is what sent me from “oh I should check this out” to “I am putting this on the record player RIGHT NOW”:

Incredible aesthetics aside, the list of backing musicians also got me très excited: Steve Gadd, Richard Tee, Eric Gale, Dave Grusin—basically, Paul Simon’s go-to band in the 70s and 80s, transported to Budokan.

These guys in the year 1980 had such a sound. Like, this first track feels like it could’ve easily capped off the album One Trick Pony (if One Trick Pony took a decidedly jazzy turn). Glorious.

(Side note: 1980 was also the year the accompanying film One Trick Pony came out, which is worth watching just to see these brilliant studio musicians playing washed out versions of themselves.)

Dad let me take the album and several others from the crate (which he’d acquired in one of those “I’ll take this box of records off your hands for $20” situations). And now this album has been in the background of everything I do lately. So, thanks to the garage sale gods for introducing me to the wonderful world of Sadao Watanabe—five decades of music (and still going strong!) is enough to keep me busy for a while.