Japanese saxophone legend Akira Sakata meets double bassist Johan Berthling (Fire!) and drummer/percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love (The Thing, &c) for 4 extended and intense studio recordings where all 3 push themselves into a mind-blowing album of free improvisation.
Sakata, Akira / Johan Berthling / Paal Nilssen-Love
Label: Trost Records
Released in: Austria
"This is the kind of free jazz where jumping off a cliff is more about how you flap your wings than how well you succeed at flying, and where hitting ground might be preferable to floating. On Arashi, the trio of Akira Sakata, Johan Berthling and Paal Nilssen-Love offer up four tracks of serious intensity, serious fun.
The best thing about opening track "Arashi (Storm)" is its relentlessness. A focused force of nature, the trio burns a path as precise as a straight line, and as deep as a scar. Some roller coasters have the most amazing views from above, but often the rider's attention is a captive of the speed and force of the cart in motion. So it is with "Arashi (Storm)," though there are moments when it provides a glimpse of an amazing horizon line, just before the imagery becomes blurry yet again from the speed.
The best thing about "Ondo No Huna-Uta (Rower´s Song of Ondo)" has got to be the way Sakato's voice dances off the percussive nail heads. It's so over-the-top aggressive as to incite smiles, not fear.
The best thing about "Dora" is how Berthling's bass bubbles up from the surface, in between fiery dispensations from Sakata's alto sax and the driving tumult of Nilssen-Love's drums. The tiny resonance of that bass breaking through the clearing has such a chipper rhythmic appeal that the contrast between it and the furious onslaught of the rest of the track is quite arresting.
The album closes with a quieter, more cerebral tune. "Fukushima No Ima (Fukushima Now)" has Sakata musing wistfully on clarinet, while Berthling and Nilssen-Love offer up conversational asides that are indelibly tangential to the conversation at hand. It ends with a dash to the finish line, but even this furious coda isn't enough to dispel the brooding serenity that preceded it. And that is the best thing about the final track, which is a good thing, because there really was no better way to bring down the curtains on this very fun recording."-Bird Is the WormAlso available on vinyl LP.
• Show Bio for Johan Berthling
"Johan Berthling (* 1973 in Stockholm ) is a Swedish jazz and improvisational musician ( contrabass , electric bass , also piano ).
Berthling studied at the Royal Music College in Stockholm from 1996-1998 . Since then, he has worked in the Swedish and international jazz and improvisation scene in various ensembles including David Stackenäs , Raymond Strid , Fredrik Ljungkvist , Sten Sandell , Paal Nilssen-Love , Akira Sakata , Mats Gustafsson , Jonas Kullhammar and the Christer Bothén Acoustic Ensemble. In the field of jazz, he was involved in 23 recording sessions between 1996 and 2014. He also worked with folkmusicist and songwriter Nicolai Dunger ( roasting och herren , 2007)."-Wikipedia translated by Google (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johan_Berthling)
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• Show Bio for Paal Nilssen-Love
"Paal Nilssen-Love was born in Molde, Norway, Dec 24. 1974, and raised at a jazz club in Stavanger, run by his parents. It was natural to choose his fathers drums as his instrument and jazz as his work. From 1990 on he took actively part in the jazz milieu in Stavanger and joined bands with established musicians such as trumpeter Didrik Ingvaldsen and saxophonist Frode Gjerstad. In many ways, these collaborations were essential as they pointed out the directions for Paal's later musical development and career. During his studies at the Jazz dept at the University in Trondheim, where the first self initiated bands were established, things developed really fast - and Paal was nationally acknowledged at the age of 20.
The forming of the quartet Element in 1993 in many ways represented the start of a new phase in Paal's musical life. Element musically became a platform for several other groups with bassist Flaten and pianist Wiik, and lead to collaborations with Iain Ballamy and Chris Potter, amongst others. Paal moved to Oslo in 1996, where he joined and/or took part in the forming of bands like Vindaloo, SAN, Håkon Kornstad Tio, The Quintet and Frode Gjerstad Trio. He later on got more into self initiated projects and collaborations with Swedish musicians, such as pianist Sten Sandell and saxophonist Mats Gustafsson.
Paal played his first solo concert in 1999, and since then the solo concept has been an important part of his work: "Everyone should try doing some solo work, just to feel who you really are and what gets you going". His solo album "Sticks and stones" was put out in 2001 on SOFA Rec.
Being active in several bands at the same time has always been Paal's deliberate working method. He is constantly conscious about the projects he is in, as his participation in each and one of them is fully dedicated. Playing is not about getting from start to goal, but rather being in an everlasting process, a continuous movement where each new piece of music performed is a prolongation of the latest. Hence, keeping focused and concentrating all energy around what's happening there and then is of greatest importance - as is the freedom in the music, the ability of being free within the expression.
All bands, although various styles and musical versatility in general, represent important pieces that make up a total, and all bands are formed or joined with a clear vision. Today Paal's portfolio includes Atomic, School Days, The Thing, Frode Gjerstad Trio, Sten Sandell Trio, Scorch Trio, Territory Band, FME, and various duo projects such as with reedmen Ken Vandermark, John Butcher, Mats Gustafsson, organist Nils Henrik Asheim and noise wizard Lasse Marhaug. And not to forget the recently joined Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet."-Paal Nilssen-Love Website (http://www.paalnilssen-love.com/biography.php)
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Related Categories of Interest:
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
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Label: Trost Records
Catalog ID: TROST 130CD
Squidco Product Code: 19129
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Decibel Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, on July 19th, 2013, by Dagge Lundquist.
Akira Sakata-alto sxophone, clarinet, voice
Johan Berthling-double bass
Paal Nilssen-Love-drums, percussion
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1. Arashi (Storm) 12:27
2. Ondo No Huna-Uta (Rower´s Song Of Ondo) 6:43
3. Dora 11:51
4. Fukushima No Ima (Fukushima Now) 12:33