June 19, 2018 / 7:53 PM

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Novelist Haruki Murakami's Cites Long-Lost Tokyo Jazz Club Peter Cat as Major Influence, Harper's Aaron Gilbreath Journeys to Find the Dwelling



When acclaimed Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami first heard jazz as a teen, he was instantly hooked.

The writer saw Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers perform in Kobe in January 1964 with their most celebrated lineup: Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Curtis Fuller on trombone, Wayne Shorter on sax and pianist Cedar Walton.

Murakami even postponed his college studies to open a jazz club under the name Peter Cat in Tokyo.

In 1977, he and his wife Yoko moved the jazz club to Tokyo's central Sendagaya neighborhood, which would play home to the author's first two novels.

This ultimately led to later publications referencing doo-wop titles like The Dells' "Dance Dance Dance" and Curtis Fuller's "Five Spot After Dark."


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