The Squid's Ear Magazine


Hirose, Junji / Kazuo Imai / Darren Moore: Be Quiet!!! (Meenna)

The catalyst for this album is Australian drummer based in Singapore Darren Moore, whose 2022 tour of Japan took him to Tokyo where he performed with legendary Japanese free improvisers, Kazuo Imai on electric guitar and Junji Hirose on tenor saxophone, this album recorded in GOK Studio, the session anything but Quiet!!!, but definitely energetically charged and assertive.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Junji Hirose-tenor saxophone

Kazuo Imai-electric guitar

Darren Moore-drums


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Label: Meenna
Catalog ID: meenna-957
Squidco Product Code: 33930

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: Japan
Packaging: Cardboard Sleeve, Sealed
Recorded live at GOK Studio, in Tokyo, Japan, on August 4th, 2022, by Yoshiaki Kondo.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Sax player Junji Hirose and guitarist Kazuo Imai, both Tokyo residents born in 1955, are renowned Japanese improvisers who have long propelled the country's improvised music scene. Australian drummer Darren Moore, who is currently based in Singapore, carries on his performance activity while also teaching at Lasalle College of the Arts. Darren Moore lived in Tokyo for several years in the mid-2010s. Since then he has often visited the country and performed with Japanese musicians.

In 2022 he came to Japan and gave numerous concerts. On August 4, Moore performed with Hirose and Imai in a trio concert planned by Hirose and held at GOK Studio in Tokyo. Their performance that day is documented on this recording. On these two tracks (both about 28 minutes long), the combination of tenor sax (Hirose), electric guitar (Imai) and drums (Moore) creates extremely powerful improvised performances filled with a sense of driving speed. The three musicians' multifaceted talent is clearly on display in this outstanding release."-Meenna


Artist Biographies

"Born March 29, 1955 in Kokubunji, Tokyo.

Junji Hirose is one of the most unique artists on the Japanese free improvised music scene. Since the eighties he has developed highly diverse and creative sound, playing tenor and soprano sax and the self-made "noise machine."

Hirose started listening to modern jazz in junior high, when he especially liked trumpeters such as Miles Davis and Terumasa Hino. He bought a trumpet and taught himself to play. Having listened to records by Davis's band for some time, he became very interested in John Coltrane, who was in that band. At this time he bought a tenor sax and started to teach himself to play. (He also started to play soprano sax around 1977).

Hirose enrolled in Meiji Gakuin University in 1973, and soon joined the student modern jazz club. While he was still a student, a soul group invited him to play in a recording, which came out and became Hirose's record debut. Also as a student, he happened to hear the album Pakistani Pomade, by pianist Alex Schlippenbach's trio, with Evan Parker (sax) and Paul Lovens (drums). This was Hirose's first encounter with European free improvisation, and the music--Parker's in particular--had a strong impact on him, and greatly influenced his musical style.

About a year after his graduation in 1978, Hirose began to collaborate more with other musicians. In 1979 he formed the free improvisation trio Free Expansion, with Shuichi Nagano (bass) and Yasuhiro Yamazaki (drums). It was around that time that he got to know Masahiko Kono (trombone) and they began holding concerts together. Hirose also occasionally participated in workshops organized by artists like Toshinori Kondo (trumpet), the late Motoharu Yoshizawa (bass), and Mototeru Takagi (tenor sax), where he played with non-Japanese musicians like Eugene Chadbourne (guitar) and Paul Lovens.

Artists with whom Hirose played often in the early 1980s included the late Akira Iijima (guitar), Yoshinori Motoki (guitar), and Yoshisaburo Toyozumi (drums). These gigs were held mainly at the club Far Out in Atsugi, and the performance space Terpsichore in Nakano, Tokyo. At Terpsichore he organized concerts with a variety of artists--musicians, dancers, poets, etc. Hirose released his first solo album, Solo Saxophone, in 1981. When the EastAsia Orchestra was formed in 1982 by Yoshiaki Fujikawa (tenor sax), Hirose was invited to join the group on sax. He left the band soon thereafter, but rejoined them in 1984 for a brief period, during which they toured West and East Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and Austria. This was Hirose's first experience performing outside Japan. In the same year he joined percussionist Masahiko Togashi's band as a sax player, and had played with Togashi in various settings--duo, trios, quartets, orchestras, etc.--until Togashi's death.

In a number on the 1981 album Hodgepodge, Hirose used the electric guitar as a "noise machine." After that he began to develop his original self-made instrument for "noise sound." At first he simply placed a lot of junk items and toys around him and made sounds on them; but in the mid-1980s he put them together in a frame. In 1987, when he was to perform at a jazz festival in Leipzig, East Germany, Hirose made the instrument smaller so he could carry it more easily, and found this version to be better than the larger one. Thus it became the prototype for his current noise machine. In the late 1980s, Hirose played this instrument much more than he played the sax. At about that time he met Otomo Yoshihide (turntables and guitar), and starting in 1988 played duos with him over a period of several years. In 1989 they made the duo album Silanganan Ingay.

While Hirose used mainly the noise machine in duo concerts, he joined Otomo's band Ground-Zero as a sax player. In 1991 he was a guest performer with the band, and in 1992-93 he was a regular member. He also played sax in Ground-Zero's final concert in Tokyo in 1998. In 1989, Bassist Daisuke Fuwa formed the orchestra Shibusashirazu, which incorporates jazz, dance, theater, and art, and since then Hirose has occasionally played sax with the group. He was also a member of drummer Masahiro Uemura's avant rock/jazz band P.O.N. for the entire duration of its existence (1991 to 1999). Around the mid-1990s, he joined video artist Hideaki Sasaki's trio project Stereodrome with Uchihashi Kazuhisa Uchihashi (guitar and effects). Hirose performed at the Moers Jazz Festival in 1993 and 1998, as a member of Ground-Zero and Shibusashirazu orchestra respectively."

-Improvised Music from Japan (http://www.japanimprov.com/jhirose/profile.html)
2/28/2024

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

"Kazuo Imai (今井 和雄 Imai Kazuo, born September 24, 1955) is a Tokyo-based guitarist who plays in a rigorous and original free improvisation idiom. His music joins the rigour and texture of contemporary classical with the passion of free jazz. He has played with many Western and Japanese improvisers, including Lee Konitz, Barre Phillips, Arthur Doyle, Han Bennink, Irene Schweizer, Shuichi Chino, Tetsu Saitoh and Kazue Sawai. In addition to playing solo and in collaborations, Imai is also a member of the important collective improvisation group Marginal Consort. As well as guitar, Imai also plays viola da gamba.

Born in Kawasaki in 1955, Imai studied with two of post-war Japan's leading musical iconoclasts, Takehisa Kosugi and Masayuki Takayanagi. Imai studied under Kosugi at the Bigakko art school from 1975, and as a graduation project he participated in the East Bionic Symphonia collective improvisation performance and recording. Kosugi invited Imai to play with his well-known mixed media group Taj Mahal Travellers, which he did from 1975 to 1977. Imai also studied under guitar virtuoso Masayuki Takayanagi, and was the only one of Takayanagi's private students to ever graduate. Imai played for several months with Takayanagi's New Directions group in 1976.

Imai withdrew from live performance completely between 1985 and 1991. When he returned it was primarily as a solo performer, at a still ongoing series of self-promoted concerts entitled "Solo Works". From this time he began releasing solo and duo records, and performing with Western musicians who visited Japan, including Lee Konitz, Barre Phillips and Arthur Doyle.

In 1997, Imai was instrumental in reforming East Bionic Symphonia, under the new name of Marginal Consort. The group continue to play one concert each year."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazuo_Imai)
2/28/2024

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

"Born in Scotland, raised in Australia and based in Tokyo, Darren Moore (b. 1974) is a drummer and electronic musician who is always moving forward. Driven by his passion for artistic expression, Darren is continually challenging himself to explore new territory.

Creative improvisation is central to his practice maintaining a through-line in his approach to varying projects and activities. His current projects include free-improv group Game of Patience, audio-visual duo Black Zenith, Carnatic rhythm based percussion duo of Darren Moore/Suresh Vaidyanathan, free jazz unit the Tim O'Dwyer Trio, as well as bio-art project 'cellF'.

Darren's musical journey began when he starting playing drums at 14 years old in his home town of Perth, Australia. His early musical experiences where playing rock music in the underground local music scene before entering the Western Australian Conservatorium where he completed a Certificate in Classical Percussion in 1993 and a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Drumming in 1997.

After graduating from university, Darren moved to London which proved to very formative to his development as musician through having exposure to the broad range of musical experiences. Darren returned to Australia in 2002 where he lived in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

In 2006 Darren moved to Singapore to become a Lecture in Music at Lasalle College of the Arts where he taught drum set, popular music studies and creative improvisation. Darren is a passionate teacher who believes strongly in nurturing the next generation of musicians. His commitment to education saw Darren complete a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Queensland Conservatorium in 2013 which looked at the adaptation of Carnatic Indian rhythms to the drum set.

The move to Singapore saw him expand his activities and network to become active on the jazz and experimental music scenes in South East Asia and Japan. In Singapore, Darren was a driving force in the jazz and experimental music scenes performing regularly and organising events with under the banner of the C.H.O.P.P.A. Experimental Music Series. Darren was the artistic director for the 2008, 2010 and 2015 C.H.O.P.P.A. Experimental Music Festivals. In 2014 he was also the artistic director for the Singapore leg of the Australian sound art festival Liquid Architecture.

Darren moved to Tokyo in mid-2015 and has since been active playing with many of the Tokyo scene's more adventurous improvisers and has quickly established himself as an exciting new voice on the Tokyo music scene."

-Darren Moore Website (https://www.darren-moore.net/bio)
2/28/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Improvisation I 28:10

2. Improvisation II 27:24

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Jazz
Asian Improvisation & Jazz
Australian Improvisers, Composers and Experimenters
Trio Recordings
New in Improvised Music

Search for other titles on the label:
Meenna.


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