All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...

6

Itaru Oki: Kami Fusen

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
This second instalment from NoBusiness Records collaboration with the Japanese Chap Chap label under the name of trumpeter Itaru Oki constitutes a real find. One of the pioneers of free jazz in his native country, Oki moved to Paris in 1974, subsequently working with many luminaries including saxophonists Steve Lacy, Noah Howard and Sam Rivers, and has been part of some acclaimed releases since, Symphony For Old And New Dimensions (Ayler Records, 2009) in particular comes to mind. But this date, recorded live on a return home in 1996, is also deserving of a wider audience.

Alongside Oki are his countryman Nobuyoshi Ino on bass and special guest Korean trumpeter Choi Sun Bae. The novel instrumentation might seem a stretch were it not for the excellence of the bassist who once collaborated on an album entitled Duet with AEC maverick Lester Bowie (Paddle Wheel, 1985). He does the heavy lifting here to keep the unit grounded. Although propulsive, supple and inventive, he still makes opportunities to interject dialogue with the soloists. Ino also contributes two compositions, along with a pair from Oki and two standards, ensuring that the program embraces the jazz tradition with abundant time and melody.

It's the fluid interplay between the trumpeters, and their interaction with the bassist which is one of the main plus points of this set. Oki exhibits a lyricism indebted to Miles Davis, but also snarls and splutters, and extends his scope with bamboo flutes. Choi is perhaps more adventurous and tonally wide ranging, his lines punctuated by whooshes and subterranean growls. As such they attain a pleasing balance between the honeyed and the acerbic, nowhere better displayed than on Oki's "Ikiru" which starts with expressive bleating by the muted brass, and then continues with the bass offering rich counterpoint to each trumpet in turn.

Each of the charts incorporates open elements, but does so in unanticipated ways. On "Pon Pon Tea" Ino's ambling bass upholds the pulse but also pursues skipping diversions into freeform, while the title track begins ominously with trumpet murmurs backed by a repeating arco figure, before developing an Americana-tinged hymnal feel. Oki takes "I Remember Clifford" alone and "Old Folks / Tea For Two" with only Ino for company. In comparison to the imaginative originals, the standards are played straight without irony and while they still bear testament to the tension between Oki's lyrical streak and his freewheeling ethos, they are ultimately less compelling.

Track Listing: Pon Pon Tea; Yawning Baku; Ikiru; Kami-Fusen; I Remember Clifford; Old Folks / Tea for Two.

Personnel: Itaru Oki: trumpet, bamboo flute; Nobuyoshi Ino: bass; Choi Sun Bae: trumpet.

Title: Kami Fusen | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Kami Fusen

Kami Fusen

NoBusiness Records
2017

buy
Chorui Zukan

Chorui Zukan

Improvised Beings
2014

buy

Related Articles

Read Dreams And Other Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read The Nook CD/LP/Track Review
The Nook
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations CD/LP/Track Review
Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Moments Before CD/LP/Track Review
Moments Before
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 22, 2018
Read From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD Blu Ray) CD/LP/Track Review
From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD...
by John Kelman
Published: September 22, 2018
Read with whom you can be who you are CD/LP/Track Review
with whom you can be who you are
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 21, 2018
Read "The Show Before The Show" CD/LP/Track Review The Show Before The Show
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 2, 2018
Read "State Of The Baritone Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read "True Story" CD/LP/Track Review True Story
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 5, 2018
Read "Body and Shadow" CD/LP/Track Review Body and Shadow
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 26, 2017
Read "Autumn Wind" CD/LP/Track Review Autumn Wind
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 3, 2017
Read "Tangents" CD/LP/Track Review Tangents
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 9, 2017