A powerfully lyrical improvisor, Akira Sakata returns to OTO with Italian pianist Giovanni di Domenico and London favourites Roger Turner and John Edwards. Based on a traditional folk song, 'Kaigara-Bushi' is both meditative and theatrical - Sakata-san's cracked vocals complementing Domenico's classical-style piano. The quartet swell and prickle, open the room up with melodic clarity, and then tear it down with 'Tornado' - a screaming sax-led five minute freak out.
Recorded by James Dunn on Wednesday 15th January 2014. Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by Adam Matschulat. Original photo by Fabio Lugaro.
1. Kaigara-Bushi (Cafe OTO version) - 38.47
2. Tornado - 4.30
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, 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
Over decades Roger Turner has brought the renowned volcanic power and finely honed precision of his drum work to ensembles that have often forged real connections with musicians both sides of the Atlantic. In addition he has worked extensively in the microscopic laboratory of the acoustic duo situation where he acquired a highly developed sense of detail and of dynamic control. One of that select group of world-class players who have collectively redefined the language of contemporary percussion. In Turner's hands minute inflections of tension can shape the group's musical direction and galvanise a new level of audience experience.
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