On Anatomy of a Moment, Aleuchatistas guitarist Shane Perlowin joins the legendary percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani for a series of duets that are as perplexing as they are beautiful. Sticking largely to fingerstyle acoustic guitar, Perlowin's controlled and tightly parameterized improvising stands in stark contrast to Nakatani's varied and unpredictable sound experiments. While his playing in the Aleuchatistas is highly electric and aggressive, here, Perlowin seems almost meditative. Taking cues from artists such as John Fahey, Robbie Basho, and Jack Rose, he weaves a rich and unending tapestry of harmonic variety around Nakatani's radical sound craft. An innovator in the art ...read more
Japanese percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani's last visit to Israel produced two albums. Both are totally different in their spirit. Both feature Nakatani's unique manner of shaping and extracting sounds from the cymbals and the skins of the drums that blossom as a memorable music. Harold Rubin / Barre Phillips / Tatsuya Nakatani3 On A Thin LineHopscotch Records2013 This live recording from April 2009 documents the first ever meeting of Israel veteran free improviser and clarinetist Harold Rubin and prolific double bass master Barre Phillips, who came ...read more
What is improvised music without visuality? While the music of improvising composers can be felt and picked apart aurally, the physical act of making music in an un- preconceived setting is something rather extraordinary and easily lost through the audible distance of a recording. It's not just the dynamic, theatrical high jinks of a player like percussionist Han Bennink or ferociously deft fiddling of bassist Barry Guy (with his table of accoutrements at the ready). That visualness can be in the arrangement of players and their standing, sitting or moving bodies in relationship to the room's acoustics. Still, there are ...read more
Free music that casts a spell on you comes with a price. You are entitled to dream, imagine something different with every listen. Beauty takes many forms and everyone has their opinion. Alto saxophonist Gary Hassay, pianist Dan DeChellis and percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani show you their own ideas about beauty on this recent album. The trio's music remains dark and dreamy throughout this session. Alto saxophone flirts with melody on occasion, but changes direction so abruptly and so often that nothing lingers long enough to be called a theme. The piano pounds majestically and creates the harmony, ...read more
Solitude, a set of fairly free jazz by multi-reeds player Assif Tsahar, unobtrusive percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani and string quartet, is surprisingly easy to listen to, but difficult to assess. Each time a group creates a performance like this, they're attempting to create a language from whole cloth. Free jazz is demanding because it's teaching us a language we don't know, using only that language. When it's successful, as in this case, it's strangely beautiful, of course.
Then again, how do we know it's successful? How do you judge the eloquence of someone who's speaking a language you're hearing for the ...read more
The first cooperative venture between Israeli reed man Assif Tsahar and Japanese conceptual percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani, both based in New York, focused on investigating the more abstract regions of free jazz (Come Sunday, Hopscotch, 2004). Tsahar exerted more control than sweaty power, and Nakatani proved himself a most singular and versatile percussionist. Nakatani hardly ever uses a regular drum kit and is very close in spirit to another sonic master, German percussionist Paul Lovens. On Solitude, with the KJLA string quartet, they expand their sonic studies further into free-form tone poems.
Out of the nine tracks on Solitude, ...read more
Once, a very long time ago, jazz" was about that swing." The substance without which it didn't mean a thing manifested itself externally in the rhythms, the walk, the fashion" of the hipster. Once co-opted by Madison Avenue, jazz then kept its hipness either well-hidden or moved it constantly like a weapon of mass destruction.
That knowing hipness today has no public face, fashion, or spokesman. It is to be found in the open-ended, hit-and-sometimes-miss music of free improvisation. A music that takes both patience and, perhaps, a Buddhist meditative mind to appreciate.
Making that music ...read more