How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Tokyo in F presents the international meeting of American Ken Field (Birdsongs of the Mesozoic) with Japanese musicians Kazuto (Arepos), Natsuki (Bondage Fruit), and Yuji (Bondage Fruit). Since this group of musicians had not previously played together before their date at Tokyo's In F nightclub, this live record oozes with spontaneity and a constant sense of discovery. Combining the restrained sound of chamber music with the constant fluxology of free jazz, the quartet makes creative use of its fresh instrumentation. A guitar, for example, can serve as a timekeeping piece or a harmonic device or a tool for melodic expression. Appearing throughout the record are snippets of bluegrass and blues and various other genres.
What distinguishes Tokyo in F from other freely improvised records is its range of emotive expression, smoothly varying from moments of quiet melodicism to outbursts of excited frenzy. This, combined with the obvious sensitivity of expression among the players, helps make the recording an unusually satisfying documentas well as a particularly accessible piece for the listener.