Tomo Fujita ‘Tone Merchant Clinic’ DVD/Video - 6/4/05
Tomo opens this DVD Video playing ‘Confidence Cat’ with a backing track and nothing but the handful of listeners before him to absorb the sound coming from his amp. In this manner, the player, his sound, and phrasing are really emphasized in the intimate atmosphere. He goes through the cut with all of the other instruments in mind; however, the viewer can really get an idea of what's going on from a guitar standpoint. As you hear the surrounding accompaniment (at a slightly lower volume) you're attention is not going from band member to band member. The focal point is Tomo Fujita and his guitar, it's as if he's playing all by himself with nobody around (not even the small audience that's in attendance). In fact the moment flows all so seamlessly that the backing track could easily be the sounds he's hearing in his head and what comes out from him is his flow of conscious. He plays with great feel and clarity throughout. It's all about the music. Making his "speech" and "vocalizations" lift up, off, and out of the guitar.
The song ‘Just Funky’ is one of the full and recognizable songs that often appear on his set list and it is on this CD where he explores it in his most relaxed setting. Tomo plays this number with a single backing track during the demonstration offered. This is a really good moment to see him do his thing in such a small location. As he's unfettered by a band, or a stage-styled atmosphere. Here he effectively uses this instance to express himself in a very laid back fashion. It’s almost as if he's "at home with himself." The rendition is crisp and uncluttered.
If you're already familiar with his recordings, and particularly this staple track, this performance enables you to watch him all over the fret board, and to actually see what his hands are doing as the sounds come forth. This particular offering may be obtained from Tomo's website.