Published since 1997
Longtime contributor to AAJ and Downbeat, Jazz Review, EjazzNews, Radio DirectX.
The koto is a Japanese musical instrument that can have anywhere between 1 and 17 strings extended over a four-sided box. Sawai is a well-known master, having formed the Tokyo-based Sawai Koto School. Here, two world-class yet altogether disparate instrumentalists investigate various modalities via instances of implied meter, along with various strumming and plucking techniques. On track two (no song titles), the musicians tap their respective instruments in concert with swirling exchanges and wordless chants. At times, the music seems to take on sacred implications. The artists’ somewhat ethnocentrically devised permutations hint at two foreign languages coalescing for an evocative union. With this release, east meets west as the duo tosses notions back and forth amid complex fabrics of sound. Recommended. (Listener patience and open mindedness is a prerequisite here!)
Track Listing: Tracks 1-8
Record Label: In Situ
Style: Modern Jazz
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