Monday 30 April 2018, 7.30pm

Photo by Dawid Laskowski

Akira Sakata / Giovanni Di Domenico / John Edwards / Steve Noble

A powerfully lyrical improvisor, Akira Sakata has been active on the free jazz scene for more than forty years, with only limited international exposure. He returns to OTO with regular collaborator, Giovanni di Domenico, whose influences have formed into a compellingly original style that has seen him play with the likes of Jim O'Rourke, Nate Wooley, Arve Henriksen and Toshimaru Nakeamura. Sakata and Di Domenico will be joined by Steve Noble on drums and John Edwards on bass for a quartet set.

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Akira Sakata

Akira Sakata was born in Kure-city, Hiroshima in 1945. Studied marine biology at Hiroshima university. Formed a group Saibo-bunretsu (Cell fission) in Tokyo in 1969, and was also performing with various free-jazz musicians during this time. Since the late 1960s, Sakata has been a constant figure in jazz and creative music scenes as an ever evolving and adventurous, multi-instrumentalist, and member of classic groups such as Yamashita Yosuke Trio, from 1972 till 1979, and Wha-ha-ha plus many of his own, like the Sakata Akira mii. He has recorded with Chris Cosey, Peter Brotzmann in Last Exit, DJ Krush, Yoshimio, and others.

In 2005 he began peforming with guitarist Jim O'Rourke, drummer Chris Corsano and acoustic bassist Darin Gray. They've since released three albums together. Friendly Pants is the first American release by Sakata in more than 20 years. It pairs the 65-year-old traveler alongside bombast Chikamorachi (Corsano/Gray) and O'Rourke as the producer.

Giovanni Di Domenico

Giovanni Di Domenico, pianist, was born in Rome on the 20th July 1977. Majoring in ‘jazz piano’ at music school - he further built on an encyclopaedic technique; rhythm, harmony and tone are informed by non-western traditions yet equally sensitive to Debussy’s “Préludes”, Luciano Berio’s “Sequenzas”, to the ‘ambi-ideation’ heard in Borah Bergman’s Soul Note recordings, Cecil Taylor’s polissemic density, Paul Bley’s bruised transparency and of course, the most radical manifestations stemming from the underworld of pop music, invariably tied together by his own original praxis. A distinction – one would call it generational – he shares with many of the musicians he has crossed paths with recently, of which we could enumerate Nate Wooley, Chris Corsano, Arve Henriksen, Jim O’Rourke, Alexandra Grimal, Tetuzi Akiyama, João Lobo or Toshimaru Nakamura. Di Domenico has founded his own label, Silent Water, home of an eclectic and occasionally unclassifiable production. He lives in Brussels.

"Di Domenico brings a total concept, with ambition and the result is excellent. Influences can be easily found in jazz as in African or Middle-Eastern music as in classical music, often combined, yet all very subtle and very much in its own stylistic universe of intimacy and closeness." - The Free Jazz Collective

John Edwards

John Edwards is a true virtuoso whose staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role, whether playing solo or with others. Perpetually in demand, he has played with Evan Parker, Sunny Murray, Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee, Lol Coxhill, Peter Brötzmann, Mulatu Astatke and many others.

"I think John Edwards is absolutely remarkable: there’s never been anything like him before, anywhere in jazz." - Richard Williams, The Blue Moment

Steve Noble

Steve Noble is London's leading drummer, a fearless and constantly inventive improviser whose super-precise, ultra-propulsive and hyper-detailed playing has galvanized encounters with Derek Bailey, Matthew Shipp, Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, Stephen O'Malley, Joe McPhee, Alex Ward, Rhodri Davies and many, many more. 

In the early eighties, Noble played with the Nigerian master drummer Elkan Ogunde, Rip Rig and Panic, Brion Gysin and the Bow Gamelan Ensemble, before going on to work with the pianist Alex Maguire and with Derek Bailey (including Company Weeks 1987, 89 and 90). He was featured in the Bailey's excellent TV series on Improvisation for Channel 4 based on his book ‘Improvisation; its nature and practise’. He has toured and performed throughout Europe, Africa and America and currently leads the groups N.E.W (with John Edwards and Alex Ward) and DECOY (with John Edwards and Alexander Hawkins).