117

Shoji Hano, Gary Smith, Asahito Nanjo: Shoji Hano

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Shoji Hano, Gary Smith, Asahito Nanjo: Shoji Hano Ever since the days of Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, electric guitar/bass guitar/drums trios have primarily been vehicles for rock music. They are comparatively rare in jazz, and rarer in free improvised music. Those that do exist often blur the boundaries with rock, using its vocabulary but not its syntax or vice versa. Because of its rock legacy, the format itself attracts players who have affinities with rock.

One such recent trio, Mass, (with albums on Paratactile, Mass and From Zero ) is a precursor of this Shoji Hano trio and has clear affinities with it. Both trios feature Gary Smith on guitar and his is the primary voice here. Given the distinctiveness of Smith's playing, it could not be otherwise. His playing dominates any grouping he is in. With musical roots in the blues-rock of Clapton and Beck, Smith is well-versed in the conventions of rock, allowing him to mutate and subvert them. But compared to his solo or duo work, his playing here is more linear and focussed on the overall group ethic. Nonetheless, devotees of Smith's guitar will find all the trademarks of his playing here, the electric edge, the curved notes, the swirling, shimmering runs, the illusion of several guitarists playing simultaneously.

As the notional leader of the trio, Shoji Hano deserves full credit for its impact and straddling of boundaries. Despite his impeccable jazz and improv credentials, Hano is willing and able to provide a backbeat whenever Smith is playing something akin to rock, enhancing any rock tendencies rather than countering them. (In this, he resembles Lou Ciccotelli, the drummer in Mass.) At other times, Hano provides a rhythmic tattoo that drives the music along, making compelling listening.

With five of the seven tracks being "Ono Nos. 1 & 3" and "Futari Nos. 1, 2 & 3," one might expect considerable repetition here. This is not pronounced. For instance, the two versions of "Ono" do have similar openings, but thereafter are totally different, and the three versions of ?Futari? have few similarities. This isnotan album that has been padded with alternate takes!

Ultimately, this music is beyond categorisation and should appeal to a wide audience. It can be listened to at different levels. It is the sort of music that can "just be there" without causing undue offence. It also handsomely repays repeated close attention and study.


Track Listing: Sannin, Futari No. 3, Kaze, Ono No. 1, Futari No. 1, Ono No. 3, Futari No. 2.

Personnel: Shoji Hano, percussion, voice; Gary Smith, stereo guitar; Asahito Nanjo, bass guitar.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Chronoscope


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Fish Heart/Water Heart
Heart Lord Studio Disc
2008
buy
Drums...
Heart Lord Studio Disc
2008
buy
Bydgoszcz
Heart Lord Studio Disc
2008
buy
Saarbrücken
Heart Lord Studio Disc
2008
buy
飛魚 (Fish In The...
Heart Lord Studio Disc
2006
buy
48
Heart Lord Studio Disc
2003
buy

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Open The Curtains" CD/LP/Track Review Open The Curtains
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "The Three Voices" CD/LP/Track Review The Three Voices
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 19, 2016
Read "Salt Task" CD/LP/Track Review Salt Task
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Binary" CD/LP/Track Review Binary
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "Planet" CD/LP/Track Review Planet
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Everything's Gonna Be Great" CD/LP/Track Review Everything's Gonna Be Great
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!