Stevie Wonder is playing his first gig in Tokyo and the place is
absolutely packed to the rafters. In a bid to break the ice with his new
audience he asks if anyone would like him to play a request.
A little old Japanese man jumps out of his seat in the first row and
shouts at the top of his voice “Play a Jazz chord ! Play a jazz chord.
Amazed that this guy knows about Stevie’s varied early jazz career, the
Blind impresario starts to play variations on an E minor scale and then
goes into a difficult jazz melody for about 10 minutes. When he finishes
the whole place goes wild.
The little old man jumps up again and shouts “No, no, play a Jazz chord,
play a Jazz chord”. Despite getting a bit cross with this guy, Stevie,
being the professional that he is, dives straight into a jazz
improvisation with his band around the tricky B-flat minor chord and
really tears the place apart. The crowd goes wild with this impromptu
show of his technical expertise.
The little old man jumps up again. “No, no. Play a Jazz chord, play A
jazz chord”. Well Stevie is really annoyed now that this little guy
doesn’t seem to appreciate his playing ability so he says to him from
the stage: “OK smartie pants – you get up here and do it!”
The little old man climbs up onto the stage, takes hold of the
microphone and starts to sing:
“A jazz chord … to say … I ruv you”