I’m not a music expert, so I don’t even know what to call Nujabes’ music. Bass once called it “acid jazz.” To me, it’s almost kind of space music. but, I think the best definition is simply “Japanese Jazz.”
Nujabes’ music was very dreamy and ethereal, almost ghostly. I’ve included a couple of videos to two of my favourite Nujabes compositions: “Counting Stars” and “Arurian Dance.” But these two songs are just the tip of the iceberg, he literally composed hundreds of jazz songs. He was incredibly prolific.
Update, my friend Bass is a HUGE Nujabes fan and here is his blog post about Nujabes. He knows a lot more about music than I do:
Where Nujabes became familiar to some people in the West is he was one of the composers to the soundtrack of Samurai Champloo, a big hit on Adult Swim several years ago. (It continues to be a solid hit through rentals.), a very good 1800s Japanese anime by the same director of Cowboy Bebop.
Tragically, Nujabes died in 2010 at the age of only 36 in a traffic accident in Japan. He was just starting to become a big deal, and spotlighting a lot of attention on the emerging Japanese jazz scene. So sad. He remains beloved today. While researching Nujabes, I found a whole bunch of posters and other artwork people made of him and so I decided to focus my post around that.
Nujabes artwork by his loyal fans: