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Toyozumi / Yandsen / Countryman: Future of Change (ChapChap Records)

The collaboration of American alto saxophonist living in the Philippines Rick Countryman with legendary Japanese free improvising drummer Sabu Toyozumim, also performing on Erhu, continues with this outstanding performance at the LIMBO Art Gallery in Makati, Philippines in 2020, joined by Malaysian tenor saxophonist Yong Yandsen for a burning set of free jazz.

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product information:

UPC: 4573461450142

Label: ChapChap Records
Catalog ID: CPCD-017
Squidco Product Code: 29437

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: Japan
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded live at the LIMBO Art Gallery in Makati, Philippines, on February 29th, 2020, by Alvin Cornista.


Sabu Toyozumi-drums, Erhu

Yong Yandsen-tenor sax

Rick Countryman-alto saxophone

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Artist Biographies:

"Yoshisaburo "Sabu" Toyozumi (born Tsurumi, Yokohama, 1943) is one of the small group of musical pioneers who comprised the first generation playing free improvisation music in Japan. As an improvising drummer he played and recorded with many of the key figures in Japanese free music including the two principal figures in the first generation, Masayuki Takayanagi and Kaoru Abe from the late 1960s onwards. He is one of a very few of this circle who are still alive and engaged in playing this music today.

Toyozumi features on numerous commercially available recordings with many of the most notable Japanese and international improvising musicians including Derek Bailey, Mototeru Takagi, Misha Mengelberg, Peter Brötzmann, Keiji Haino, Otomo Yoshihide, Tom Cora and Fred Van Hove.

In 1971 he became the only non-American member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians(AACM)). He dedicated his first record as a leader, Sabu - Message to Chicago, to compositions by AACM members, and in 1992 toured and recorded with AACM trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith.

Toyozumi has been instrumental in bringing many European and American improvisers to Japan including Derek Bailey, Misha Mengelberg and Sunny Murray.

In 2005 British improvising guitarist and promoter John Russell arranged a two-day event dedicated to Toyozumi in which the drummer performed in different groupings with 14 musicians from the London improvised music scene including, most notably, Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill, Phil Minton, John Edwards and Steve Beresford. The Wire described his playing at this time as follows: "He's busy, but there's always space between his notes, and he avoids the flashy technical solution to musical problems. His playing is crisp and dramatic, with a very occasional use of repetition to spark a climax. If it's possible for a drum kit to ask awkward questions, Toyozumi seems to be doing it".

In an interview with Cadence Magazine in 1988 Toyozumi makes clear the importance of his relationship with nature as an influence on his playing and Clive Bell writing in The Wire in 2005 notes "his devotion to the way of Watazumido, the late shakuhachi player and Zen master, whose performances mixed martial arts and music in a bizarre cocktail of discipline and craziness".

In 2009 he returned to London to feature as one of the players in Russell's improvisation festival Fete Quaqua which was recorded for broadcast by BBC Radio 3. He continues to tour widely and in the past year or so has performed in Belgium and France, Chile, Taiwan, England, Philippines and Greece. He also performs from time to time with the legendary Japanese noise group Hijokaidan. Currently he can be found performing on the erhu - a two-stringed Chinese violin - as often as playing the drums."

-Wikipedia (

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Yong Yandsen is a Malaysian free improvising saxophonist, known primarily in Southeast Asia and increasingly in Europe. Yandsen runs the Lao Ban record label and also the concert series SPIL. He has a distinctive and expressive voice on the tenor saxophone that is influenced by players like Kaoru Abe, Albert Alyer and John Butcher.

-Squidco 7/28/2021

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

"Rick Countryman (January 31, 1957) is an American jazz saxophonist and flautist.

After years attracting little attention as a baritone saxophone player, including an extended sabbatical, Rick made a late-life change to alto sax, at the urging of bassist, Simon Tan. His first recorded session with Simon and Christian Bucher, avant garde drummer from Switzerland, attracted the attention of French label "Improvising Beings" and was released as "Acceptance - Resistance". The recordings received many positive reviews, both in the United States and Europe.

Rick currently now has 9 releases on 4 labels across Europe, Asia, and the United States, including multiple CDs with Japanese improvisational drummer, Sabu Toyozumi, who has made several trips to Manila to perform and record. The music continues to receive positive reviews and airplay. Two recordings were listed in "Gold Dolphy 2018".

Since 2011, Rick has been an active member of the Manila jazz scene. He leads and performs in ensembles on baritone saxophone, alto saxophone, alto flute and bass flute; performing original compositions, as well as free jazz/improvisation, in his own jazz quartets and trios. His style is heavily influenced by Eric Dolphy, Sonny Simmons and the 60s Free Jazz movement. He was a student of Bert Wilson, and considers Michael Bisio and Rick Mandyck early mentors."

-Wikipedia (

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track listing:

1. Future Of Change 35:52

2. Two Snakes, Dark River 24:34

3. Sol Overtones 12:46
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"After the glowing Voices of the Spirit, a new sulfurous record, this time is without the double bass of the talented Simon Tan. The effect is immediate: abrupt music, without the slightest harmonic markup, and without the associated seductions. The tandem of saxophones, Yong Yandsen (ts) and Rick Countryman (as), seems to be left to its own devices, out of control. The energy pours out without any constraint except an obsession of exchanges, distributed questions and answers, a vehement dialogue of reeds, of their intertwined twirls, tirelessly. You feel this music starts long before the CD is on your HiFi deck. The first song, which gives the title to the album, surprisingly seems to find our trio already in the middle of their feverish conversation. No theme, here useless, our two blowers having already matter for discussion. And the great Sabu Toyozumi? You would think that, with the help of age, he would have calmed down, taking the posture of the great master of Aiki Do, with the sharpest vigilance, the economy of gestures and the efficiency of the blow. This is what is surprising at the start of "Future of Change": strikes like those of a mass to drive piles, out of any reassuring rhythm, as if to mark space, to define the playing field of the two saxes. But very quickly, the pleasure of mixing with the bickering of the two blowers dominates. He takes the phrasing of one, emphasizes or deconstructs it, disturbs or inspires it enough for a sax-drums duo to be established for a moment, with chopsticks that disconcert, creating surprise, distilling magic. Then the other comes back and the boosted trance continues.

So it's a Total Free, a kind of wild energy that makes us forget time, landmarks, to let us go through this joy of the moment, primary.

Sabu Toyozumi always puzzles. He bewitches skins, metal, wood; making music from any shock. He has the power of a young man and the subtlety of the greatest. Besides, is he not one of the heroes of the drums? The hero? Maybe so, but we must not deprive ourselves of the happiness that others give us. We are surprised that these percussive cataclysms are the result of a rather childlike and always smiling elder. This is the recording of one of the concerts of Sabu Toyozumi who came to the Philippines in early 2020 to play with his friend Rick Countryman. We know this alto saxophonist can play totally free, with rough music, deeply lyrical and going straight to the point, without frills. Instead of concerts in sax-bass-drums trio found in previous albums, they are joined by tenor saxophonist Yong Yandsen for the CD mentioned at the beginning, Voices of the Spirit. And there, it's like opening up a new horizon, Rick Countryman deploying an even greater freedom, facing Yong Yandsen taking on this game of surpassing oneself. In this album, in the absence of a double bass, we are even more in the work on the sound textures with the example of these sounds of voiced sax, on unusual phrasings sometimes recalling the clicks, the cracklings of European improvisers, and many other tortures of sounds in the service of the expression of sensitivity. Permanence, however: the fever and the lifelong commitment that the American from Manila knows how to communicate to others. As for Sabu Toyozumi, his science of strikes is astounding, and his ability to propel the play of others, to create situations or to clear spaces surprises each time when one can have the feeling that all his play is than a solo.

This is very great art."-Guy Sitruk

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Percussion & Drums
Trio Recordings
Asian Improvisation & Jazz
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

Other Releases With These Artists:
Recommended & Related Releases:
Toyozumi, Sabu / Rick Countryman
I Am Village
Various Artists
Asian Meeting Recordings #1
Satoh, Masahiko / Sabu Toyozumi
The Aiki [VINYL]
Various Artists: Lao Dan / Rick Countryman / Colin Webster
Saxophone Anatomy
(Armageddon Nova)
Other Recommended Releases:
Toyozumi / Countryman / Tan
Chasing the Sun
(ChapChap Records)
Toyozumi, Sabu / Mats Gustafsson
Hokusai [VINYL]
Toyozumi, Sabu / Rick Countryman / Simon Tan / Isla Antinero / Stella Ignacio
The Search for the Five Senses
(Sol Disk Records)
Toyozumi, Sabu / Simon Tan / Yong Yandsen / Rick Countryman
Bucher / Tan / Countryman
Blue Spontaneity
Toyozumi, Sabu / Simon Tan / Rick Countryman / Yong Yandsen
Voices Of The Spirit
(ChapChap Records)
Bucher / Tan / Countryman
Satoh, Masahiko / Sabu Toyozumi
The Aiki
Toyozumi / Countryman / Montes
Blue Incarnation (Improvisations for Kulintang)
(ChapChap Records)
Toyozumi, Sabu / Rick Countryman / Simon Tan
Preludes And Prepositions
(ChapChap Records)
Bucher / Countryman (w/ Simon Tan / Isla Antinero)
Extremely Live in Manila
(ChapChap Records)
Toyozumi, Sabu / Rick Countryman / Simon Tan
The Center of Contradiction
(ChapChap Records)
Bucher / Countryman
(Self Released)
Bucher / Tan / Countryman
(Self Released)
Various Artists
Asian Meeting Recordings #1
Game Of Patience
Trial And Error
(Herbal International)

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