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Epigraph Records first release, Ritual Inscription, documents live, improvised creative music in Bakersfield, California, Epigraph's home base. Renowned Japanese percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani meets two local comrades, trumpeter Kris Tiner (the founder of the label) and guitarist Jeremy Drake for two intense improvisations.
Chaotic sounds of gongs and assorted percussion merge with serene lines from the trumpet and the rubbing and strumming of the guitar strings on the first improvisation, "Ritual." These elastic, kinetic sounds mutate constantly, coloring a broad canvas through tight and thick interplay. No sound is obvious; the trio deserts common instrumental roles for inventive and challenging ones. The narrative of the improvisation is loose, but the fierce, intense sonic alchemy is arrestingan idiosyncratic language outlined spontaneously.
The second improvisation, "Inscription," is shorter and more peaceful. Tiner sets a tone of serenity, while the resourceful Nakatani and Drake embrace him with imaginative sounds. Here, Nakatani demonstrates true magic with his set of percussion instruments. His rich vocabulary of sounds and his highly personal concept of rhythm and pulse gain volume and endless power. His ideas become more disciplined and coherent as the improvisation develops, and he carries it through to the quiet coda.
This limited edition vinyl release, with five different original designs printed on the back, contains brilliant and masterful improvisations.
Track Listing: Ritual; Inscription.
Personnel: Tatsuya Nakatani: percussion; Kris Tiner: trumpet, flugelhorn; Jeremy Drake: electric guitar.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.