Pink Martini & Saori Yuki – Blue Light Yokohama

This 13-member orchestra from Oregon is known for its worlwide jazzy old school pop flare, with songs such as Que Sera Sera [1], Bolero [1], Sympathique [MV], Let’s Never Stop Falling in Love [1], Splendor in the Grass [MV], and Taya Tan, which happens to be a 1971 single by Saori Yuki, who first learned of the band at that time.

Saori Yuki is a Japanese singer, actress — and sometimes narrator — with countless singles and dozens of films and television dramas throughout her active career since 1965. Above all else, Saori Yuki is a singer and is almost a regular on NHK’s Nihon no Uta (日本のうた). She was last seen on the big screen on Naoto Takenaka’s Yamagata Scream, and on the small screen as Handa Chiyo on NTV’s adaptation of Shota Kikuchi’s manga, Osen (おせん).

In honor of the year of her debut release, Saori Yuki partnered with Pink Martini and producer Thomas M. Lauderdale to create a loving tribute to the music released in 1969. Featuring Japanese pop hits alongside internationally recognized tunes like Jorge Ben’s Mas que Nada and Puff the Magic Dragon, 1969 is a brilliant collaboration, with Thomas M. Lauderdale’s magical arrangements, Pink Martini’s stellar musicianship, and Saori Yuki’s soaring vocals.

Blue Light Yokohama (ブルー・ライト・ヨコハマ) is a 1968-1969 hit single by Ayumi Ishida  (いしだ あゆみ), which sold more than a million copies in its day and marked Ayumi Ishida’s debut at NHK’s traditional Kohaku Uta Gassen — in its 20th edition — on December 31st, 1969.

You can order 1969 through the Pink Martini website or

2 Responses

  1. Echydo says:

    I really like and respect Pink Martini’s work. Here again they do not disappoint; this is a great remake.
    Fans of the Japanese film director Hirakazy Kore-eda will probably recognize the inspiration for his recent movie Still Walking (original title: Aruitemo, Aruitemo). ;)

    • amy says:

      @Echydo, I know. I’m actually kinda surprise Pink Martini is as popular as it is… I’m a little sad that the Amazon link has that sole one-star review just because the album is not in English – actually, it pissed me off xD certainly someone doesn’t appreciate the worldwidely-ness of Pink Martini~~~

      I practice a lot of my Japanese singing to the songs on Nihon no Uta xD big fan of Saori Yuki and totally psyched about this project. Must review this album.

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