The Squid's Ear Magazine

Sakata, Akira / Entasis: Live In Europe 2022 [2 CDs] (Trost Records)

Three live performances in Greece, Italy and Brussels from saxophonist & multi-reedist Akira Sakata and his long-standing duo partner as Entasis — pianist Giovanni di Domenico — and based on location, with Giotis Damianidis on electric guitar, Petros Damianidis on double bass, and Stephanos Chytiris, Balazs Pandi or Aleksandar Skoric on drums.

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Akira Sakata-alto saxophone, clarinet, vocals, bells

Giovanni Di Domenico-piano

Giotis Damianidis-electric guitar

Petros Damianidis-double bass

Stephanos Chytiris-drums

Balazs Pandi-drums

Aleksandar Skoric-drums

Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.

UPC: 9120036683938

Label: Trost Records
Catalog ID: TROST 245CD
Squidco Product Code: 34098

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: Austria
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Tracks CD1 1 and 2 recorded live at Duende Jazz Upstairs, in Thessaloniki, Greece, on April 11th, 2022, by Titos Kariotakis and Christos Harbilas.

Tracks CD1 3 and CD2 1 recorded live at Centro d’arte, in Padova, Italy, on April 14th 2022, by Davide Corsato.

Tracks CD2 2 and 3 recorded live at Les Ateliers Claus, in Brussels, Belgium, on April 16th, 2022, by Arnaud Chamey.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"As a simple (biological) matter of fact, the Giants are fading away, being circle of life and circle of music drawn by the same compass. Luckily for us, the last ones still standing are firing all cylinders, like there was no tomorrow, not even knowing what the word "retirement" could mean. An astonishing example, still unreachable for ranks of much younger musicians, comes from the very far east and is a frequent flyer on these community's skies, Akira Sakata.

Born in Hiroshima in 1945, a trained marine biologist, his strike on the Damascus Way of Jazz is Voice of America heard on the radio soon after war's end, and from that moment on he starts paving his long path towards the myth. Thanks to a prodigious technique on reeds, he moves totally at ease on different musical fields: from the superb trio with the piano of Yosuke Yamashita to the noise powerhouse of Hijokaidan; from the electro-acoustic nuances along with Jim O'Rourke to the telluric sounds of Last Exit with Bill Laswell. Last, and definitely not the least, the refined chamber jazz as Entasis, a duo with Giovanni Di Domenico. In 2018, in Thessaloniki, Sakata and Di Domenico joined forces with Giotis Damianidis (guitar) and Christos Yermenoglu (drums), the recording of the concert is issued the following year as Hōryū-ji (El Negocito, 2019) and, as often happens among true free souls, this pretty impromptu meeting generates an amazing, ongoing project. Just a couple of words about Di Domenico. Italian, resident in Belgium, he is in our humble opinion one of the most underrated aces around. Influenced by the tradition of the bravest jazz piano players, the mix-up of Cecil Taylor, African ritual music, rock and the most radical avant/impro, developed through various international projects (Hintanoi, MulaBanda, Tetterapadequ, Dream and Drone Orchestra) provides an extraordinary canvas for his Fender Rhodes painting.

This double CD, Live in Europe 2022, issued by Austrian label Trost Records, catches Sakata & Entasis at the top of its game, across three stages during a 2022 European tour: Thessaloniki (11.04 Duende Jazz Upstairs); Padova (14.04 Centro d'Arte); Brussels (16.04 Les Ateliers Claus). The related gigs show some slight changes on the line-up, besides the fixed texture of Sakata, Di Domenico and Giotis Damianidis. So in Greece we find the double bass of Petros Damianidis and Stephanos Chytiris on drums; in Italy Balazs Pandi on drums, duty covered in Belgium by Aleksandar Skoric, but the menu remains a tasteful full-monty of Akira's way of music: lyricism and brutal force, geometry and sheer improvisation, sonic sturm und drang with the gift of his usual interventions on mike.

A final foot note: the history of music owes an immeasurable debt of gratitude to those small, proudly and fiercely independent record labels, driven by brave, fearless, devoted and maverick sonic explorers, so madly generous to grant a safe harbor to artists otherwise forgotten under the dust of time or by the nasty rules of the market. Well, little/gigantic Trost (see its roster of artists) is definitely one of that kind. Long live."-Ferruccio Martinotti, The Free Jazz Collective

Get additional information at The Free Jazz Collective

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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"Giovanni Di Domenico, pianist, performer, composer, was born in Rome on the 20th July 1977, a significantly tempestuous period in socio-political terms, featuring hostile polarizations and an ostensive paramilitarism, mutinous ideological confrontations and bloody terrorist attacks, rendered infamous in the description 'Years of Lead'. In that particularly caustic summer, the so-called 'Movement of 1977', non-aligned, without any ties to the Parliament and non-violent, broke into the scene of prevalent conspiracy-steeped paranoia condemning the repressive, discriminatory and authoritarian tendencies of the Italian State and demanding equality for minorities and further civil rights. The coinciding liberalization of the media market, putting an end to RAI's monopoly, further defined this period as the prime moment for pirate radio, with the consequence of a libertarian fragmentation of youth culture, epitomised by punk.

One could argue that Giovanni, self-taught until the age of 24, inherited - in philosophy, politics and artistically - the most benign and affirmative traits of that period, diversifying his action in the context of a recently unified Europe, promoting improbable connections, exploring varied geographies, comfortably manoeuvring aesthetical fringes and making a commitment to live performance at its most liberating and engaging. Surprisingly, the path that lead him to that point had an unexpected detour: following his father's consecutive assignments as a civil engineer he actually lived out his first decade in Africa - until he was five in Libya, from then until his eight anniversary in the Cameroons and until ten in Algeria. His far off native country was not synonymous with civil unrest as much as with opera, whose arias he would memorize with his siblings in order to practice the language and provide some family entertainment. The condition of expatriate had a strong influence in his education - he clearly remembers the calls of the muezzin, the sound of exotic musical instruments in local markets, the ritualistic expression music took in the streets of Yaoundé, or the songs he heard from his nanny in the Cameroons.

When he finally enrolled in music school - majoring in 'jazz piano'- he further built on an encyclopedic technique; rhythm, harmony and tone are informed by non-western traditions yet equally sensitive to Debussy's "Préludes", Luciano Berio's "Sequenzas", to the 'ambi-ideation' heard in Borah Bergman's Soul Note recordings, Cecil Taylor's polissemic density, Paul Bley's bruised transparency and of course, the most radical manifestations stemming from the underworld of pop music, invariably tied together by his own original praxis. A distinction - one would call it generational - he shares with many of the musicians he has crossed paths with recently, artists as different as Chris Corsano, Jim O'Rourke, Akira Sakata, Tetuzi Akiyama, Okkyung Lee, Balasz Pandi, Nate Wooley, Yan Jun, John Edwards, Darin Gray, Roger Turner, Steve Noble, DJ Sniff, Terrie Ex, David Maranha, Manuel Mota, Arve Henriksen, Norberto Lobo, Peter Jacquemyn, Alexandra Grimal, John Duncan, Tony Allen, Rafael Toral or Toshimaru Nakamura. Di Domenico has founded his own label, Silent Water, home of an eclectic and occasionally unclassifiable production. He lives in Brussels."

-Giovanni Di Domenico Website (Giovanni Di Domenico)

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"Giotis Damianidis was born in 1981 and grew up in Thessaloniki. Since 2006 he lives in Brussels.

He has performed in many countries playing different styles of music ranging from free jazz to Afro beat an rock.

He has collaborated with artists such as Sakis Papadimitriou, Tony Allen and Christos Yermenoglou.

He is the leader of the Quintet Punk Kong and was a co-founder of the Act up trio, Don Kapot, Tape is rolling and a sideman in bands such as Man on Fire, World Squad, Giovanni Di Domenico's Abschattungen and Aufheben & Ruth Tafebe's Afrosoulmessengerz.

In 2013 he founded his own label, Mr. Nakayasi."

-Jazz Library - The All Greek Portal (

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"Petros Damianidis was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. He started his music studies at traditional greek instruments and continued studying electric bass with Petros Kardasis. Since 2007, he has been studying classical double-bass at the State Conservatory of Thessaloniki with Mpampis Heimarios and he continued his studies in Maastricht Jazz academy with Jan Van Den Boomen and Phillipe Aerts.

Since 2009, he has been teaching electric and acoustic bass in various music conservatories in Greece.

He is founding member of Trio Amnesia, Toys Factory and Act Up Trio, participates in several groups of jazz music (Terence Blanchart quartet collaboration with State Clasical Orchestra of Thessaloniki Greece, set up: Terence Blanchart tr, Fabian Almazan p, Petros Damianidis db, Justin Folkner dr, plus and minus Collective orchestra, Swing time Quartet etc.) and has performed at concerts in different cities in Greece.

In 2010, he participates in the Summer school of Jazz Music of Codarts in Rotterdam and had lessons with Hein Van de Geyn.

He has collaborated with Sakis Papadimitriou, Gianni Lenoci, Augusto Pirodda, Giovanni Di Domenico, Danielle Martini, Rubben Verbrugen, Joao Lobo, Panayiotis Damianidis, Christos Yermenoglou, Achilleas Sourlas and others."

-Lefty Bass (

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"Stephanos Chytiris is a drummer and improviser from Athens Greece. He has worked on a wide range of projects from avant-garde jazz to contemporary classical music. Keeping the balance between tradition and modernism on drums and cymbals, his projects function as a free base for musicians to explore and interact with personal and collective unconscious, aiming to reach a cathartic experience.

He has studied sound art, at Dartigton college of arts (England) and trained in Long Island University (New York) under the tutelage of Sam Newsome and renowned master drummer, Michael Carvin. Since then he has collaborated and developed projects such as Flux Project with Bram De Looze and Luca Rosenfeld with "Pyrin" (2014) being the first album of the trio produced by Michael Carvin, featuring Daniel Carter, Todd Neufeld and greek actress Calliroee Myriagou. "Egata" is his large ensemble unit with Ingrid Laubrock, Todd Neufeld, Pascal Niggenkemper, Rema Hasumi, Lester St. Louis and Joe Moffett. He has performed with Tony Malaby for several concerts in Greece and many more artists and musicians from Athens creative scene."

-Stephanos Chytiris Website (

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"Balázs Pándi (born 6 August 1983) is a Hungarian drummer. He has worked and toured with various acts from all around the world including Venetian Snares, Otto von Schirach, Last Step, To Live and Shave in L.A., The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble and Zu. He also played drums for the Blood of Heroes project.

Since 2009 he has frequently played drums live with Merzbow, and they have released three live records together. They headlined the experimental stage at the Scion Rock Fest in Tampa, Florida in 2012. More recently, he and Merzbow have performed as a trio with Mats Gustafsson. They released Cuts in 2013 on RareNoise. For the follow-up Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper (2015), they were joined by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth.

Balázs started an electronica-metal-breakcore project with Bong-Ra called Wormskull in 2010 (their first album "Sound of Hell" was released in 2011). Most recently he joined the Italian experimental instrumental band Zu. His current projects include Italian doom band Obake, Metallic Taste of Blood (featuring Colin Edwin of Porcupine Tree, Eraldo Bernocchi of Obake and Jamie Saft), and Slobber Pup (Saft, Joe Morris and Trevor Dunn). From 2012 he started to play solo shows on selected festivals under his own name."

-Wikipedia (

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"Aleksandar Škorić, based in Groningen, Netherlands, is a drummer known for the groups 3TIMES7, EVA, Falga, Hala, Mofaya!, and Sitting Bull."

-Discogs (

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Track Listing:


1. Live in Thessaloniki 2022 Pt. 1 (17:47)

2. Live in Thessaloniki 2022 Pt. 2 (22:56)

3. Live in Padova 2022 Pt. 1 (19:51)


1. Live in Padova 2022 Pt.2 (27:31)

2. Live in Brussels 2022 Pt. 1 (20:07)

3. Live in Brussels 2022 Pt.2 (23:44)

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Quartet Recordings
New in Improvised Music
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