The tempo you might expect from new music made in Japan is certainly not what you get from the trio known as Radar. In fact, their fresh approach to music making transcends geography and genre.
The trio of horn (mostly soprano saxophone), bass, and piano plays hesitating tunes, paced by experimentation and plenty of space. The disc opens with the band creeping along, feeling out long notes, and warming the expansions of "BGM1." Just about every track in the "BGM" series (improvised compositions?) is a darkened passage of search and reflection.
The closest reference to the familiar playing here is William Parker. Bassist Inada Makoto's playing is addressed up front in the mix, with his powerful vibe evident throughout. Whether plucking or bowing notes, Makotolike Parkerexhibits force throughout. His sawing bow on "My String (Radar Version)" gels an ambient grit for his bandmates to drop notes like rain drops on the hypnotic track.
The bassist is also a vocalist, sounding like a Japanese Tom Waits with megaphone or Japanese-scatting through "Aitai No De-Su-Ga." What to make of it? The simple song "Obieru (Frightened)," too. Is it theater? A drinking song? A child's song?
The monk chants on "Cardinal Number" might be from some Kodo drummers' free jazz get-together. But could that be? Sure, why not. Radar plays with music on this Tzadik release, like London improvisers do on Emanem discs or Amsterdam musicians do at the Bim Haus. The cultural divide we cross is made possible through this very creative act.
BGM1; Sound Check; Cardinal Number; BGM4; Paul (Song Of Gumtape); My String (Radar Version);
BGM3; Obieru (Frightened); BGM2; Aitai No De-Su-Ga; Melody 1; Namida.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.