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Sakata / Laswell / Drake / Cosey: Fisherman' [VINYL] (Trost Records)

Japanese free improvising saxophonist and vocalist Akira Sakata's ode to folksongs of the sea, a cathartic and emotional set of songs made heavy by the bass and synth work of Bill Laswell and drummer Hamid Drake, with guitarist Pete Cosey adding an undulating funk layer to their compelling mix, modern and ancient at the same time, recorded in 2000 but here in its first vinyl release.

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product information:

UPC: 9120036682764

Label: Trost Records
Catalog ID: TROST 173LP
Squidco Product Code: 26221

Format: LP
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: Austria
Packaging: LP
Recorded at Orange Music Sound Studio, New Jersey, October 17-19, 2000.


Akira Sakata-alto saxophone, vocals, synth

Bill Laswell-bass, synth

Hamid Drake-drums

Pete Cosey-guitar

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Artist Biographies:

"Akira Sakata (坂田明; born 21 February 1945 in Kure, Hiroshima) is a Japanese free jazz saxophonist.

Sakata began studying music seriously at high school, where he played clarinet.[1] He played alto sax in a jazz band when at Hiroshima University.[1] He trained as a marine biologist.

Sakata joined the Yamashita Yosuke Trio from 1972 till 1979 and toured internationally with them. In 1986, he performed with Last Exit with Bill Laswell. This performance was released as 1987's Noise of Trouble: Last Exit Live in Tokyo. Laswell went on to play bass on and produce Sakata albums such as Mooko, Silent Plankton and Fisherman', the last of which also featured the reclusive Pete Cosey (who had worked with Miles Davis) on guitar.[2]

In 1994, Sakata organized a one-month tour of Uzbekistan, Mongolia and China with the Flying Mijinko Band, consisting of 14 members from Japan, Africa and America. Some of those included were Laswell, Anton Fier and Foday Musa Suso.

He has more recently worked with DJ Krush[3] and Chikamorachi (Darin Gray and Chris Corsano)."

-Wikipedia (

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"Over the course of some three decades, visionary bassist-producer Bill Laswell has been one of the most prolific and restlessly creative forces in contemporary music. A sound conceptualist who has always been a step ahead of the curve, he has put his inimitable stamp on nearly 3,000 recording projects by such artists as Mick Jagger, Yoko Ono, Iggy Pop, Laurie Anderson, Brian Eno, Bootsy Collins, Nine Inch Nails, Motorhead, Peter Gabriel, Blur, The Ramones, George Clinton, Pharaoh Sanders, The Dalai Lama, Matisyahu, Angelique Kidjo, DJ Krush, RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ, Sting, The Last Poets, Afrika Bambaataa, Julian Schnabel, Whitney Houston, Manu Dibango, Fela Kuti and most notably Herbie Hancock, who collaborated with Laswell for the pivotal 1983 smash-hit single "Rock-It" which introduced scratching to the mainstream, inspired a generation of turntablists and gave the great jazz pianist instant street credibility among the burgeoning hip-hop cognoscenti.

Laswell's sense of creative daring as a producer was further demonstrated on several recordings that have kept him on the cutting edge, including Afrika Bambaataa's collaboration with John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten of Sex Pistols fame) on World Destruction and PiL's Album (which brought together an unlikely pairing of drumming greats Ginger Baker and Tony Williams, synth-pop pioneer Ryuichi Sakamoto of Yellow Magic Orchestra fame and rising guitar star Steve Vai). His spoken word collaborations with William S. Burroughs and expatriate writer-composer Paul Bowles have gone against the grain of music industry trends while his radical remixes (or re-constructions) of landmark recordings by Miles Davis (Panthalassa), Carlos Santana (Divine Light), Bob Marley (Dreams of Freedom) and a vast scan of dub-related and atmospheric ambient projects have gone on to further defined Laswell's presence as a revolutionary ikonoklast.

Bill Laswell has helped in generating several innovative recording labels such as Celluloid, Subharmonic, Black Arc, and Innerhythmic. Along with Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records (Bob Marley and U2), he established the AXIOM label in 1989. M.O.D. Technologies, his most recent imprint is releasing projects by Method Of Defiance, Lee "Scratch" Perry, PRAXIS, Garrison Hawk with Sly & Robbie, Bernie Worrell, The Process (with Red Hot Chili Peppers' drummer Chad Smith and pianist Jon Baptiste) and progressive/futuristic music from Ethiopia (CDs/DVDs).

As a player, Laswell's bass lines resound with rare authority on groundbreaking projects by Tabla Beat Science (with Zakir Hussain and Ustad Sultan Khan), his avant-funk band Material, the apocalyptic assault of Last Exit (with Sonny Sharrock), his progressive dub effected Method of Defiance and the throbbingly intense power trios, Massacre (with Fred Frith and Charles Hayward), Painkiller (with John Zorn and Mick Harris), Praxis (with Buckethead and Brain), Blixt (with Raoul Bjorkenheim and Morgan Agren) and the latest (2014) Bladerunner (with John Zorna and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo).

Laswell's artistic reach has consistently extended to the continent of Africa, creating ground-breaking, evolutionary snd controversial recording projects in Morocco, Senegal, Mali, Gambia and most recently, Ethiopia where he has established a base for developing new as well as legendary artists, just as he did in the South Bronx some 30 years ago.

A veteran of 300 plus journeys to Japan, where he has worked with everyone from The Gagaku Orchestra (Japan's ancient music, only played for emperors for 1500 years), to avant-jazz, rock, hip-hop and DJ culture. An eternal musical renegade, Bill Laswell has always played by his own rules."

-Bill Laswell Website (

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"Hamid Drake (born August 3, 1955) is an American jazz drummer and percussionist. He lives in Chicago, IL but spends a great deal of time touring worldwide. By the close of the 1990s, Hamid Drake was widely regarded as one of the best percussionists in jazz and avant improvised music. Incorporating Afro-Cuban, Indian, and African percussion instruments and influence, in addition to using the standard trap set, Drake has collaborated extensively with top free-jazz improvisers. Drake also has performed world music; by the late 70s, he was a member of Foday Musa Suso's Mandingo Griot Society and has played reggae throughout his career.

Drake has worked with trumpeter Don Cherry, pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonists Pharoah Sanders, Fred Anderson, Archie Shepp and David Murray and bassists Reggie Workman and William Parker (in a large number of lineups)

He studied drums extensively, including eastern and Caribbean styles. He frequently plays without sticks; using his hands to develop subtle commanding undertones. His tabla playing is notable for his subtlety and flair. Drake's questing nature and his interest in Caribbean percussion led to a deep involvement with reggae."

-Wikipedia (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Peter Palus Cosey (October 9, 1943 - May 30, 2012) was an American guitarist who played with Miles Davis' band between 1973 and 1975. His fiercely flanged and distorted guitar invited comparisons to Jimi Hendrix. Cosey kept a low profile for much of his career and released no solo recorded works. He appeared on Davis's albums Get Up with It (1974), Agharta (1975), Pangaea (1976), Dark Magus (1977), and The Complete On the Corner Sessions (2007).

Cosey was born in Chicago, Illinois. He was the only child of a musical family. His father and mother wrote for Louis Jordan and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson and his father played for Sidney Bechet and Josephine Baker. Following the death of his father, Cosey and his mother moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he spent his teenage years and began developing his guitar style.

Prior to joining the Miles Davis band in 1973, Cosey was a busy session guitarist with Chess Records, playing on records by Etta James, Fontella Bass ("Rescue Me"), Rotary Connection, Howlin' Wolf (The Howlin' Wolf Album) and Muddy Waters (Electric Mud, After the Rain).

Cosey was also an early member of Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). He was an early member of the Pharaohs, and a group with drummer Maurice White and bassist Louis Satterfield that eventually evolved into Earth, Wind & Fire. Some of his pre-Miles jazz playing is available on albums by Phil Cohran's Artistic Heritage Ensemble.

After joining Davis, Cosey performed on the albums Get Up with It, Dark Magus, Agharta and Pangaea. By 1975, Cosey had developed a remarkably advanced guitar approach-involving numerous alternate tunings, guitars restrung in unusual patterns and a post-Hendrix palette of distortion, wah-wah and guitar synth effects-that has influenced many adventurous guitarists, including Henry Kaiser and Vernon Reid.

Following the 1975 break-up of the Miles Davis band, Cosey largely disappeared from public view. After performing on the title track of Herbie Hancock's Future Shock (1983), he did not appear on record again until Akira Sakata's Fisherman' (with Sakata, Bill Laswell and Hamid Drake) in 2000. Throughout the '80s, he was involved in a number of Chicago- and New York-based groups with various musicians, but no recordings have been released. In 1987, he replaced Bill Frisell in the trio Power Tools with bassist Melvin Gibbs and drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson (a live recording is available through RSJ's website).

In 2001, he started a group called Children of Agharta to explore the electric Miles Davis repertoire. The first line-up was Cosey, Gary Bartz, John Stubblefield, Matt Rubano, J. T. Lewis, and DJ Johnny Juice Rosado (studio DJ for Public Enemy). The group's booking agency was listing the band as a quartet of Cosey, Bartz, Melvin Gibbs and Doni Hagen.

In 2003, Cosey appeared on an episode of American television's The People's Court, successfully suing a promoter for failing to pay fully for a Children of Agharta gig.

Cosey was also a featured soloist with the group Burnt Sugar on their album The Rites.

In 2004, Cosey appeared in the Godfathers and Sons episode of Martin Scorsese's documentary series The Blues. The episode followed Marshall Chess and Chuck D (of Public Enemy) reuniting the musicians from Muddy Waters' Electric Mud album to record a new track.

In July 2006, Cosey was fleetingly glimpsed during the finale of Bill Laswell's PBS Soundstage concert (his performance having been edited out of the broadcast).

In 2003, Cosey scored a short film, directed by Eli Mavros, entitled Alone Together. Cosey and Mavros had met the previous year during production of Mark Levin's episode for the PBS Blues series. After appearing on Eli's college blues radio show, Shake Em On Down, on New York University's radio station, 89.1 FM WNYU, he agreed to score the film. In the spirit of jazz and spontaneity, the soundtrack to the film was improvised by Cosey in real time over several takes, with several different instruments; no two takes were the same. He played guitar (using several distortion pedals, often bowing the strings like a violin), African thumb piano, and a zither given to him by Miles Davis. The film went on to show at several small film festivals.

From September through October 2007, Pete Cosey briefly appeared playing his guitar (no sound, due to narrative voiceover) in two scenes of a national thirty-second television commercial for AARP's Senior Advantage Complete Care Healthcare Insurance.

In 2007-08, Cosey contributed to the CD Miles from India, which celebrates the music of Miles Davis. It features many former Miles sidemen and Indian musicians, with Cosey playing on five tracks: "Ife (Fast)", "It's About That Time", "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down", "Great Expectations", and "Ife (Slow)".Death

Pete Cosey died on May 30, 2012 of complications following surgery at Vanguard Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Although he had spent most of his life in Chicago, he had been living in nearby Evanston, Illinois. He is survived by five children and six grandchildren."

-Wikipedia (

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track listing:


1. Kaigara-Bushi 14:43

2. Ondo No Hunauta 9:49


1. Saitaro-Bushi 8:43

2. Wakare No Ipponsugi 14:28
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Trost have unearthed another gem from the Japanese jazz maestro Akira Sakata, together with Bill Laswell, Hamid Drake, and Pete Cosey. Fisherman' was released originally on CD, Japan-only, by Starlets Records in 2001. This release marks its first time on vinyl and available worldwide. Fisherman' is Sakata's ode to folksongs of the sea -- an intense personal statement on the fluidity of tradition."-Trost

"Originally released in 2001, Fisherman' is Japanese free-jazz stalwart Akira Sakata's ode to folksongs of the sea, reimagined and repurposed as seeds for avant distortions. Featuring Sakata on alto saxophone and vocals, Bill Laswell on bass, Pete Cosey on guitar, and Hamid Drake on drums, it's an intensely personal statement on the fluidity of tradition.

"Kaigarabushi" opens with a fisherman's song from the region of Tottori in western Japan. Sakata's singing of it has a mineral quality that will taste familiar to admirers of Mikami Kan. Like a blind minstrel who feeds only the ears of ghosts longing to relive their exploits, he touches listeners from temporal distances. The band at his side sets up a row of large beakers, each filled to brimming with funk. Yet while Laswell and Drake are precisely measured, Cosey stirs up an amorphous mixture of colors through the flange of his talking guitar. His sound bleeds out the smallest facets of Sakata's singing, and finds in their reimbursement an alluring style of damage. So, too, does the bandleader's reed work pour on strange beauty.

"Ondo no funauta" sets out on more troubled waters before bass and drums drop an anchor of groove, while Cosey's fins move in more mysterious ways below depths. By no coincidence, the song tells of boatmen handling a particularly treacherous strait in Hiroshima Prefecture, though one might never know those challenges for the skill with which the band navigates them. Neither does Sakata's saxophone betray one wave of that treachery, as it emotes without fear, and blasts the surety of their experience beyond the ultimate fallibility of their technology.

"Saitarabushi" (incorrectly Romanized as "Saitarobushi"), another fishing song, also made an appearance on Sakata's 1997 trio album, Dō deshō?! (How's That?!). Here is the fruit of dangerous labors, the celebration a big catch with due ceremony. Sakata is soulful as ever over the band's shoreline backdrop, even as Cosey portals in some modal ghost signatures of those who drowned long so. Laswell is thick and thin by turns, imprinting the sand but flying off with a harmonic in the same breath.

"Wakare no ippon sugi," a ballad from the 1950s that clinched singer Hachirō Kasuga's status as a pioneer of the Japanese enka form, is barely recognizable through Sakata's filter-no small feat for such a famous tune. The forlorn lyrics tell of love lost under a cedar tree, a parting so sad that even the birds cry in the mountains. Not that a non-Japanese speaker would know this, given the upbeat presentation. All of which makes Sakata's cries through the reed, and the guttural exhale with which he ends the album, that much more cathartic and emotionally relevant.

From this archival trove comes Bill Laswell's remix of "Kaigarabushi," which holds fast to its original drone but pencils in hues of Mongolian throat singing and faraway percussion. Cosey's guitar is reborn as a long stare into the sun, while Sakata's voice reaches for even farther stars, his saxophone strangling them until they gasp for darkness. The funk returns intermittently, only to fall into the earthly ooze from which it sprang."-Tyran Grillo, ECM Reviews

Get additional information at ECM Reviews
Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Recordings
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Unusual Vocal Forms
Quartet Recordings

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