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Until the digital revolution came, bass solos sounded a lot like the opening of Saving Private Ryan, the band would layout while the bassist plays, “boom, hiss, pop, strum, pop, crack”...etc. And since the woofer has found popularity with not only b-boys but serious jazz fans wishing to hear that bottom end. Enter the bass solo album, a treat for stay-at-home listener. I have been partial to recent solo efforts by Dave Holland Ones All (Intuition), Michael Formanek Am I Bothering You? (Screwgun) and Tatsu Aoki, who has releases his seventh solo effort. Aoki, born in Japan, was trained in traditional instruments like the Shamisen and Taiko as well as the piano and guitar. He later went on to study English at Ohio University and while watching Duke Ellington’s band, he was inspired to pick up the bass. He started with the electric bass and rock bands but quickly graduated to the upright bass and improvisational music. Today he teaches film at The Art Institute of Chicago and can be found in many jazz configurations including his Power Trio and Saxophonist Fred Anderson’s band. Presented here is a live recording in from Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art where Aoki shared the stage with visual artist Amy Lee Segami. He is also joined by two percussionists, playing a korean Buk and the Japanese Taiko drum, for a couple tunes. As a soloist Aoki can walk a bass line or improvise an arco section sending you through an imaginary reverbing soundscape. Paired with drummers, he can groove in multiple languages. Tatsu Aoki is quite a talented bassist and improviser, and this release is well worth your attention.
Track List:Introduction – Peter Taub; Wed Lock; Fly Dee; A Night; Rain Dance; Roaches; Fisherman’s Song; Eigen; Sukiyaki – Ue O Muite Arukou;
Jazz is a creative explosion of individual freedom and communication.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was a kid. My father had a music store.
The best live performance I ever attended was Kenny Garrett in Harlem, New York.
The first jazz record I bought was Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins.
My advice to new listeners is keep listening!