Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

561

Miles Okazaki: Generations

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
Myriad ideas collide and interact on Miles Okazaki's follow-up to Mirror: his latest offering, Generations. These ideas span not only musical forms and concepts but also cultures—from Indian to European and American. The music also leaps across various artistic disciplines—philosophical, mathematical and visual—to render one central ostensible idea: that all sound is an experience shaped by the tangible and intangible in both an infinite and finite measure of time and space.

Generations is a series of songs that grow organically out of a central theme: that music was born from fertile ideas that lie hidden in the tones of the pentatonic scale. Conceptually, the nine tracks on the record take the form of an hourglass, also likened to the "dumaru," a drum played in the Hindustani music of Northern India. At the beginning of "Overture" (track one) all twelve tones of the pentatonic scales are utilized in the spontaneous creation of the melody and the development of the harmony. This, in turn is explored in gradually shrinking concentric circles that reach the densest possible part of the "hourglass"—about the time of the fifth song, the title track, "Generations." Here, tone clusters jostle, bump and grind as Dan Flaugher's bass sparkles against the harmonic invention of Miguel Zenon's alto saxophone. Okazaki's guitar is the glue that binds the triads around Dan Weiss' rolling and splashing drums. From then on, from tracks six through nine, the suite whips around and returns to the kinetic elasticity of the pentatonic scale.

The true magnificence of this music owes itself to the fine musicians who bring it to life. The saxophonists—Miguel Zenon, David Binney and Christof Knoche—drummer Dan Weiss, bassist Jon Flaugher and guitarist Miles Okazaki express the evolving music with triumphant human spirit. Although she is relatively inconspicuous, the beautiful soprano of Jen Shyu is the first instrument of "Generations," the seemingly heraldic voice behind the song's creative energy. Combined, all of these talented artists give this album a life of its own, from the conception of the twists and turns of this tense cycle, down to its final note.

Track Listing: Overture; Sun; Waves; Magic; Generations; Ghosts; Fractal; Break; Moon.

Personnel: Miguel Zenon, David Binney and Christof Knoche: alto saxophones; Jen Shyu: voice; Miles Okazaki: electric guitar; Dan Weiss: drums; Jon Flaugher: bass.

Title: Generations | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

General Articles
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Take Five With...
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Work: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Monk

Work: The Complete...

Self Produced
2018

buy
Work (Complete, Volumes 1​-​6)

Work (Complete,...

Self Produced
2018

buy
Trickster

Trickster

Pi Recordings
2017

buy
Figurations

Figurations

Sunnyside Records
2012

buy
Generations

Generations

Sunnyside Records
2010

buy
Generations

Generations

Sunnyside Records
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Sheer Reckless Abandon Album Reviews
Sheer Reckless Abandon
By John Kelman
May 19, 2019
Read Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z Album Reviews
Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z
By Jack Bowers
May 19, 2019
Read To My Brothers Album Reviews
To My Brothers
By Victor L. Schermer
May 19, 2019
Read Social Music Album Reviews
Social Music
By Roger Farbey
May 19, 2019
Read Circle Inside The Folds Album Reviews
Circle Inside The Folds
By John Eyles
May 18, 2019
Read Momentum Album Reviews
Momentum
By Jerome Wilson
May 18, 2019
Read Bonsai Club Album Reviews
Bonsai Club
By Roger Farbey
May 18, 2019