The Squid's Ear Magazine

Chrome Hill Duo Meets Dojo (Asbjorn Lerheim / Roger Arntzen / Michiyo Yagi / Tamaya Honda): Live At (Clean Feed)

A powerfully creative concert of genre-bending improvisation when the core of the Norwegian jazz/rock band Chrome Hill--Asbjørn Lerheim (guitar) and Roger Arntzen (bass)--returned to Japan to join for the 3rd time with koto improviser Michiyo Yagi, plus her frequent collaborator, drummer Tamaya Honda, for an assertive concert of exotic, experimental improv at Tokyo's Aketa No Mise.

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product information:

UPC: 5609063006292

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF629CD
Squidco Product Code: 33151

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Aketa No Mise, in Tokyo, Japan, on January 16th, 2020, by Asbjorn Lerheim and Roger Arntzen.


Asbjorn Lerheim-electric baritone guitar, electronics

Roger Arntzen-double bass, electronics

Michiyo Yagi-electric Koto, electronics

Tamaya Honda-drums

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"A Norwegian jazz-rock quartet steeped in Americana that has spawned six albums and countless live performances, Chrome Hill has been an integral part of the lives of Asbjørn Lerheim and Roger Arntzen for over two decades. In 2014 Lerheim and Arntzen found an opportunity to visit Tokyo and attend the Hokuo Music Fest, a trade seminar for Nordic bands trying to enter the Japanese music market, where they began laying the groundwork for Chrome Hill's first tour of Japan. The tour was realized the following year and included a double bill at the legendary Roppongi club SuperDeluxe with Michiyo Yagi, who played a duo set with the German drummer and Krautrock icon Mani Neumeier. Lerheim and Arntzen were stunned by Yagi's performance on her electric 21-string and 17-string bass kotos, and they began entertaining the idea of incorporating Yagi's unique sound into Chrome Hill's music. This was realized during the group's next Japan tour, in 2019, when Chrome Hill invited Michiyo Yagi and drummer Noritaka Tanaka to join them at Koen-Dori Classics in Shibuya, Tokyo. The energy generated by the two drummers, three string slayers, and a saxophone was massive and inspiring, and the members of Chrome Hill couldn't wait to come back to dig deeper into this collaboration.

When Chrome Hill returned to Japan in 2020 they were unable to bring the entire band, so they arrived in their alternate form, the Chrome Hill Duo, that operates as a semi-independent "chamber version" of the quartet. Meanwhile Tanaka had relocated southwest to Kyushu, so Yagi brought on board Tamaya Honda, her longstanding musical partner in the koto + drums power duo Dōjō as well as several other groups.Yagi, Honda, Lerheim and Arntzen played two concerts in Tokyo, first at Koen-Dori Classics, then at the venerable "hole-in-the-wall" jazz club Aketa No Mise. The performances began with short individual sets by the Chrome Hill Duo and Dōjō that warmed things up nicely, but when the two duos came together to form a single unit, a galvanic surge of musical energy was released. The quartet played some of the twangy, cowboy-inflected Chrome Hill songs with the electric 21-string koto taking on some of the guitar melodies to unusual effect, while more common musical territory of the two lead electric instruments was explored in several free improvisations. All the while, bass and drums locked together like well-oiled gears, sometimes driving the music forward like long-haul trucks, at other times bouncing along like tumbleweeds.

That Lerheim and Arntzen had brought some recording equipment to document their visit turned out to be a lucky strike, as you may conclude after hearing this recording of the Aketa No Mise gig."-Clean Feed

Artist Biographies

"Asbjørn Lerheim: Norwegian guitar player and composer, situated in Oslo from age 19. Born in Ålesund, 1977, and raised in Langevåg. Started playing guitar at age 12, after some years on the flute and some not- so- hard efforts on trying to learn to play the piano. Different bands, singing in the local "ten-sing" choir", a general inspiration from all the professional musicians from Langevåg and a familiy where the music was an integrated part of the everyday life, it was no really no other alternative than playing music. Later high school music studies in Ålesund, and listening to several concerts in Ålesund at the jazzclub, pointed out an interest towards the world of improvisation and jazz, after having played mostly blues and rock music before. After haven been chosen to join a masterclass at the Molde International Jazz Festival at age 17, with Django Bates, Arve Henriksen and Helge Sunde, he was convinced that to go on further with playing the guitar and writing music what was he wanted to do.

After high school studies, he moved to Gjøvik, for one year at Viken Folkehøgskole, with further music studies. He moved to Oslo at age 19, for music studies at the University of Oslo, and later the Norwegian Academy of Music. Here he studied with musicians and teachers like Nils Olav Johansen, Jon Eberson, Torgrim Sollid, Håkon Storm- Mathisen, Sidsel Endresen and Rob Waring. Joined several bands in this period, amongst others oj trio, formed by trumpet player Ole Jørn Myklebust. This trio released the album "Breaks Even" in 2001, and did approximately 100 gigs the following years. In this period he also did gigs at several jazz clubs in Norway, and was also touring with the Norwegian Concert Institute with different musicians. He also seriously began working with his own compositions at this time, and started the still active quartet Damp with Jørgen Munkeby, Roger Arntzen and Torstein Lofthus in 2000. In 2001 Damp were picked out from one out of four bands in Europe to represent Norway under the "Avignon Jazz Contest" in France. Damp released the albums "Mostly Harmless (Songs)" in 2003, and "Hoatzin" in 2005 .

He also were one of the formers of the group Subtonic, who did several tours in Norway. The group also played at the Vilnius Jazz Festival in Lithuania. Subtonic were one of the first bands being sponsored by the Norwegian oil company Statoil in collaboration with the Oslo International Jazz Festival . The band existed from 2002- 2006, and released the album "In this House" in 2003.

In 2005 he got a cultural grant from the Norwegian Fund For Performing Artists, and went to Boston and New York for a month, taking lessons with Mick Goodrick, Jon Damian, Bob Moses and Ben Monder. He was also touring in Norway with New York saxophone player Jon Gordon, Håkon Mjåset Johansen and Roger Arntzen in 2006.

Asbjørn Lerheim has worked as a professional musician, composer and teacher in Oslo the last 10 years, and are right now focusing on Chrome Hill and Quite Quiet Project. He is also now working as a teacher at Oslo Private Musikkskole, Fjellhaug Internasjonale Høgskole and Universitetet i Oslo."

-Asbjorn Lerheim Website (

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"Studied music at the University of Oslo from 1998-1999 and at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo from 1998-2006. He is known from the piano trio In The Country, who was awarded "Young Jazz Musicians Of The Year 2004" in Norway. The trio has released three albums on the Norwegian indie-label Rune Grammofon to much acclaim. He is a regular together with Shining-leader Jørgen Munkeby with the noise-rock-jazz-quartet Chrome Hill and has teamed up with Chrome Hill-drummer Torstein Lofthus as two thirds of Håvard Stubø Trio. He has also worked with downtown NYC icon Marc Ribot and pedal-steel guitarist Bob Hoffnar, and other international artists such as Neil Metcalfe, Terry Day, John Russell, Sidsel Endresen, Susanna Wallumrød og Stian Carstensen."

-Ballrogg Website (

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"Michiyo Yagi studied the traditional Japanese transverse harp known as the koto under the late Tadao Sawai and Kazue Sawai, and graduated from the NHK Professional Training School for Traditional Musicians. During her subsequent tenure as Visiting Professor of Music at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, U.S.A. she premiered numerous modern compositions for koto and came under the influence of maverick American composers such as John Cage, Christian Wolff, Conlon Nancarrow, and John Zorn.

Yagi's debut CD Shizuku was produced by Zorn and released on his Tzadik label in 1999. In 2001 she recorded Yural (BAJ/ewe) with her multi-koto ensemble Paulownia Crush - this group toured Russia under the auspices of the Japan Foundation in 2004. In 2005 Yagi released Seventeen (Zipangu), entirely performed on the giant 17-string bass koto. Live! at SuperDeluxe (Idiolect), a trio performance with Norwegians Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (contrabass) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums), followed a year later.

In 2008 Rikskonsertene, the national concert institute of Norway, sponsored a two-week tour by Yagi, Nilssen-Love, and German saxophonist Peter Brötzmann, a trio that has performed internationally since 2006 and released Head On (Idiolect, 2008) and Volda (Idiolect, 2010). Reflexions (Idiolect/Bomba), duets with the experimental New York guitarist Elliott Sharp, was released in 2010. Soul Stream, a quartet session with Joe McPhee (pocket trumpet, saxophones), Lasse Marhaug (electronics) and Nilssen-Love; and Angular Mass, a trio with Marhaug and Nilssen-Love, were both released in 2015 on PNL Records.

Dōjō, Yagi's "power duo" with drummer Tamaya Honda, has released Ichi No Maki [Vol. 1] (Idiolect, 2014), featuring guests Nils Peter Molvær (trumpet) and Paal Nilssen-Love, and Ni No Maki [Vol. 2] (Idiolect, 2017) with guests Akira Sakata (reeds & voice) and Keisuke Ohta (violin). Yagi's latest album as a leader is Into The Forest (2019) a CD of original compositions (several featuring Yagi's vocals). Most recently, Live At SuperDeluxe, a collaboration with the Anglo-Norwegian trio The Geordie Approach, was released as an LP by Discus Music in late 2021.

Upcoming are an album of ambient music co-produced by the Norwegian guitarist Eivind Aarset, a duo session with composer/musician Dai Fujikura, a trio recording with Giovanni Di Domenico (keyboards) and Chris Corsano (drums), another trio work with Corsano and Mette Rasmussen (alto saxophone), and two more Dōjō collaborations, one featuring saxophonist Jon Irabagon and another with guitarist/oud player Gordon Grdina.

An eclectic performer who continually challenges conventions, Yagi has played at the Born Creative, Moers, Kongsberg Jazz, Punkt, Újbuda Jazz, Musique Actuel Victoriaville, Archipel, Bang on a Can, Tokyo Summer, Vision, Instal, Jazztopad, Sengawa Jazz, Fuji Rock, Music Unlimited, and Météo-Mulhouse festivals. Notable co-performers include Mark Dresser, Jim O'Rourke, Akira Sakata, Sidsel Endresen, Han Bennink, Alan Silva, Kazutoki Umezu, Raz Mesinai, Yoshihide Otomo, Ned Rothenberg, Knut Buen, Bugge Wesseltoft, Satoko Fujii, Håkon Kornstad, Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins), Masahiko Satō, Thomas Strønen, Carl Stone, Billy Bang, Keiji Haino, Mats Gustafsson, Roger Turner, Gerry Hemingway, Mani Neumeier (Guru Guru), and Sachiko M. Yagi's koto has been featured in ex-Judy & Mary guitarist/singer Takuya's band, and she has recorded with neo-prog rocker Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), J-pop idol Ayumi Hamasaki, singer-songwriter Angela Aki, singer/actress Kō Shibasaki, and the psychedelic pop band Tempalay.

In addition to performing solo, with the Michiyo Yagi Trio or the newly-formed multi-koto ensemble Talon - all with an emphasis on her original compositions, extended techniques, and unique vocals based on the traditional jiuta style - Yagi continues to be active as the leading improviser on her chosen instrument."

-Michiyo Yagi Website (

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Tamaya Honda (本田 珠也) is a Japanese drummer, the son of Takehiro Honda. He is known for the groups Dōjō, Elvin Jones Tribute Band, Junichiro Ohkuchi Trio, Kei Akagi Trio, Naruyoshi Kikuchi Dub Sextet, Tamaya Honda & Neighbours, Tamaya Honda Ictus Trio, Tamaya Honda Trio, Yoshio "Chin" Suzuki's "The Blend", Yuichiro Aratake Trio.

-Discogs (

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Track Listing:

1. Dust Devil 09:02

2. Country of Lost Borders 09:32

3. Long Shadows 06:24

4. Ascend 07:15

5. What Lies Beneath 08:40

6. 10-4 08:36

7. Clockwork 06:53

8. Partly Particle 04:34

Related Categories of Interest:

Clean Feed
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Rock and Related
Improvised Rock
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Asian Improvisation & Jazz
Quartet Recordings
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New in Improvised Music
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