The final night of Otomo and Sachiko's first residency at London's Cafe OTO in 2009 saw the pair joined by the long-running trio of Evan Parker, John Edwards and Tony Marsh and special guest John Butcher, for an exceptional set of creative improvisation.
Yoshihide, Otomo / Sachiko M / Evan Parker / John Edwards / Tony Marsh / John Butcher
Released in: Great Britain
"The final night of Otomo Yoshihide and Sachiko M's first residency in 2009 saw the pair joined by the long-running trio of Evan Parker, John Edwards and Tony Marsh and special guest John Butcher. Butcher played duos with both Otomo and Sachiko and joined the quintet for a rousing sextet: stunning twin saxophone interplay, the unparalleled openness of the Marsh/Edwards rhythm pairing, Sachiko's deft high-frequency interventions and Otomo's guitar at the center -- moving between abrasive textural invention and suggestive single-note runs of ever-shifting melody.
OTOMO YOSHIHIDE / guitar
Otomo Yoshihide is one of the most important musicians of the Japanese underground/avant-garde. He moves between free jazz, noise, improvisation, composition and the unclassifiable with a generosity that opens up the possibilities for expression in all of the constellations with which he's involved. After the earthquake/tsunami struck his native Fukushima in early 2011 Otomo played very little outside of Japan, dedicating a considerable amount of energy to the relief efforts there including the annual international Project Fukushima concerts. It was a pleasure to finally welcome him back to Cafe OTO in 2013 for two stunning multi-day residencies, including a revision of the remarkable piano solo he first performed in 2009 and a ripping quintet with John Butcher, Mats Gustafsson, Guillaume Viltard and Mark Sanders.
Influenced by his father, an engineer, Otomo began making electrical devices such as a radio and an electronic oscillator in his early teens and his first experience of creating music was by making sound collages using open-reel tape recorders whilst still in junior high school. Soon after entering high school he formed a band which played rock and jazz, with Otomo on guitar. It wasn't long, however, before he became a free jazz aficionado, listening to artists like Ornette Coleman, Erick Dolphy and Derek Bailey; and hearing music, both on disk and at concerts, by Japanese free jazz artists including the great alto sax player Kaoru Abe and guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi.
In 1990, Otomo started what was to become Ground Zero. Until it disbanded in March 1998, the band was at the core of his musical creativity, while it underwent several changes in style and membership. Since Ground Zero, Otomo has embraced minimal improvisation, film music and the jazz/big band conceptions of his New Jazz Quartet/Quintet/Orchestra.
SACHIKO M / sine waves
Sachiko M has been active as a sampler player since 1994. Early in her career she was involved in the cut-up and "plunderphonic" (or "plagiaristic") sampling movements. In '98, in a drastic departure from those approaches, she originated the revolutionary method she uses to this day--manipulating the sampler's internal test tones. With the 2000 release of Sine Wave Solo, her extreme solo recording consisting entirely of sine waves, Sachiko M suddenly became the focus of intense interest on the international scene, including European music festivals and Britain's Wire magazine. Since then she's been active on an irregular basis in a number of projects--including the experimental electronic music duo Filament, the electronics trio I.S.O., a duo with Toshimaru Nakamura, and the duo Cosmos with Ami Yoshida--in addition to collaborating with various musicians from other countries. Two of the solo projects she's currently working on are the live performance series Bar Sachiko and the sound installation I'm Here.
EVAN PARKER / saxophones
Evan Parker has been a consistently innovative presence in British free music since the 1960s. Parker played with John Stevens in the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, experimenting with new kinds of group improvisation and held a long-standing partnership with guitarist Derek Bailey. The two formed the Music Improvisation Company and later Incus Records. He also has tight associations with European free improvisations - playing on Peter Brötzmann's legendary 'Machine Gun' session (1968), with Alexander Von Schlippenbach and Paul Lovens (A trio that continues to this day), Globe Unity Orchestra, Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, and Barry Guy's London Jazz Composers Orchestra (LJCO).
JOHN EDWARDS / double bass
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.
TONY MARSH / drums
Tony Marsh was a vital presence in London's improvised music scene right up until his shock passing in April 2012. He played regularly with Evan Parker, John Edwards, Paul Dunmall, Nick Stevens, The London Improvisers Orchestra and many others as well as making an understated but essential contribution to dates with visiting musicians including Peter Brötzmann, Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith and Roscoe Mitchell. The Guardian's Richard Williams nails it when he descibes Tony's "marvelous ability to erase the boundary between time and no-time" and "an exquisite feeling for percussive texture".
JOHN BUTCHER / saxophones
John Butcher is a saxophonist of rare grace and power, who has expanded the vocabulary of the saxophone far beyond the conventions of jazz and other musics, to encompass a staggering range of harmonics, multiphonics, overtones, percussive sounds, and electronic feedback. But his playing is far more than merely an array of special effects: it's characterised by an intensity that propels it into strange new places that are both incredibly beautiful and deeply exhilarating.
Related Categories of Interest:
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Japanese & Asian Improv/Rock
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Catalog ID: ROKU 009CD
Squidco Product Code: 18878
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Cardstock gatefold foldover
Recorded at Cafe OTO in London, England, on March 9th, 2009, by Shane Browne.
John Edwards-double bass
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1. Quintet (1,2,3,4,5) 23:02
2. Sextet (1,2,3,4,5,6) 28:31
3. Duo (1, 6) 13:00
4. Duo (2, 6) 12:41