Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

126

Brett Larner, Shoko Hikage, and Philip Gelb: Indistancing

Robert Spencer By

Sign in to view read count
Brett Larner is a master of the Japanese guitar-like koto, on which he has recorded a breathtaking series of duets with Anthony Braxton. On this fine disc he is joined by fellow koto player Shoko Hikage, along with Philip Gelb, who wields another traditional Japanese instrument, the flute-like shakuhachi.

This is improvised music that is formed and guided by the traditions and possibilities of these instruments. For although the music is improvised, apparently without much of anything in the way of a predetermined structure - and although the musicians are not playing traditional Japanese music - much of this disc breathes the pentatonic and meditative air of that music.

At the same time, this is very much free improvisation. The rhythms are irregular and oriented to the rhythm of the breath and the rise and fall of the emotions. Larner and Hikage are adept at the kind of melodic plucking and strumming that traditional koto players employ; they also, however, both resort to percussive and repetitive techniques that owe more to guitarists Derek Bailey and Roger Smith than to the tradition of Japanese koto playing. They are especially striking in the way they interact with each other, usually in juxtaposing contrasting motifs.

Gelb is the same way on the shakuhachi: he can and does play achingly beautiful melodic strands, but he also uses "outside" breathing techniques that make for quite a different texture and tone.

This is, for all the sparks that these players can generate, quiet music, obviously heartfelt and rich with the sincerity of each of the musicians. Recommended for all who savor good improvisations.


Title: Indistancing | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Victoria Company


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
No Day Rising
Victoria Company
2003
buy
Deluxe Nakamura
Victoria Company
2002
buy
Indistancing
Victoria Company
1999
buy
Koto
Victoria Company
1999
buy
John Zorn John Zorn
sax, alto
Evan Parker Evan Parker
sax, tenor
John Butcher John Butcher
saxophone
Keith Rowe Keith Rowe
guitar

More Articles

Read Formidable CD/LP/Track Review Formidable
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Cochonnerie CD/LP/Track Review Cochonnerie
by John Sharpe
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Smoke CD/LP/Track Review Smoke
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Threes CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "Altadena" CD/LP/Track Review Altadena
by Mark F. Turner
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "History Of The Lisbon Chaplaincy" CD/LP/Track Review History Of The Lisbon Chaplaincy
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 13, 2017
Read "Transparent Water" CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "On The Way Downtown: Recorded Live On FolkScene" CD/LP/Track Review On The Way Downtown: Recorded Live On FolkScene
by Doug Collette
Published: October 28, 2017
Read "Agrima" CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Crack-Up" CD/LP/Track Review Crack-Up
by Doug Collette
Published: June 19, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor