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Miles Okazaki: Work: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Monk

Read "Work: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Monk" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The best way to embark upon Miles Okazaki's six-volume Work: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Monk is the same manner you might approach Herman Melville's American masterpiece Moby-Dick; or, The Whale. Like Moby-Dick with its 135 chapters (and epilogue), Work is a Brobdingnagian accomplishment. Okazaki performs the complete Thelonious Monk songbook. 70 tunes in total. The accomplishment here is not the 4 hours and 44 minutes of music, but Okazaki's dedication to the Monk oeuvre. The only other ...

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Miles Okazaki: Trickster

Read "Trickster" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

There is nothing deceptive about guitarist Miles Okazaki's Trickster. It is simply an elegantly crafted work that engages with its narrative quality and its darkly hued, intriguing texture. On his fourth release as a leader the New York based Okazaki leads a quartet that consists of two of his bandmates from altoist Steve Coleman's Five Elements, bassist Anthony Tidd and drummer Sean Rickman. Dynamic pianist Craig Taborn rounds up the group. Okazaki and Taborn open the album on ...

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Miles Okazaki: Trickster

Read "Trickster" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Guitarist Miles Okazaki (Steve Coleman, Dan Weiss) is a meticulous artist and visionary partly due to his thorny and geometrically inclined theme-building practices. With ECM recording artist Craig Taborn sharing the frontline, the guitarist often makes complex storylines sound effortless by design, paralleled by the quartet's symmetrical pulses and deterministic gait. The band also gels to odd-metered bump and grind motifs and linear progressions amid succinctly stated unison lines. According to Okazaki, “The Calendar" ..." is a song ...

INTERVIEWS

Miles Okazaki: Cleaning the Mirror

Read "Miles Okazaki: Cleaning the Mirror" reviewed by Daniel Lehner

In the backyard of his home in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, guitarist Miles Okazaki has spent time constructing a multifaceted backyard/garden filled with overhanging plants, stone walkways and a wooden pavilion surrounding a table and benches. The slats of the pavilion's floor seem to have been crafted merely for aesthetic purposes, but there's another process at work: the proportions of the ground structure are 144 in. x 89 in., which are, respectively, the 12th and 13th integer of the Fibonacci sequence ...

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Miles Okazaki: Figurations

Read "Figurations" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

Guitarist Miles Okazaki's Figurations is a fascinating document of how musical invention takes place on the spur of the moment. It is not a mad conglomeration of notes that come out in jagged clusters, but a mellifluous harmolodic excursion by four spectacular musicians as they begin to create music on each of their instruments, with their own ideas flowing organically, yet directed by the composer, Okazaki, who defines how the melody should sound by stating its antecedents and basic idea. ...

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Miles Okazaki: Figurations

Read "Figurations" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Figurations is the final release in Miles Okazaki's three volume compositional cycle. Its trajectory is based on forward-thinking ideas Okazaki began on his self-produced 2006 debut Mirror, and continued on the nearly sixty-minute Generations (Sunnyside, 2009), which was recorded in the studio in one take. While no less demanding, this recording was commissioned and performed in front of a live and appreciative audience at New York's Jazz Gallery.Methodical yet emotive, there are manifold ideas and theories swirling in ...

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Miles Okazaki: Generations

Read "Generations" reviewed by Wilbur MacKenzie

Generations, Miles Okazaki's second CD, displays the ornate structural latticework and solid foundation of a highly skilled conceptual architect. As a guitarist his tone is taut and balanced across the full range of the instrument, full of rhythmic and melodic nuance. Okazaki also shows thoughtfulness and creativity as a composer and bandleader, assembling a close-knit group of skilled colleagues and providing a conceptual and thematic framework that elicits exquisite contributions from all the players. This music resides at the crossroads ...


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