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 CD.
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European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
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Label: Trost Records
Catalog ID: TROST 130LP
Squidco Product Code: 19130
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