175

Tatsu Aoki: The Miyumi Project

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Of the wholly American art forms-jazz, cowboy movies, and fast food-jazz seems to have generated the most controversy as to its origins. Many believe jazz was given to the pilgrims by native Americans that first Thanksgiving during the halftime show. I hold to the theory that jazz came from New Orleans at the confluence of European, African and Caribbean cultures. From Buddy Bolden to Louis Armstrong’s migration to Chicago, jazz grew from the popular music of the day and ethnic groups that adopted it. From Coltrane improvising on “My Favorite Things” to Miles Davis covering Michael Jackson and free jazz guitarist Derek Bailey improvising over electronic drum n’ bass, jazz has had the ability to digest sounds and return them to us with that certain swing.

In Chicago (as well as on the West Coast) jazz has felt the influence of the Asian community. From Fred Ho’s Afro-Asian Music Ensemble to pianist John Jang, jazz has spread her accepting arms even wider. One of the hottest bassists working in Chicago is Tatsu Aoki. His resume includes Fred Anderson (reviewed this month), the Grammy nominated Asian American Jazz Orchestra, and several critically acclaimed solo bass records.

Aoki’s Miyumi Project, named after his daughter, brings together the distinct music of the East in the forms of Japanese drums – taiko and shime, Korean drums – Buk, and mixed them with his own jazz bass, and AACM musician Mwata Bowden. Aoki’s vision was to create sounds that borrow from the traditional drumming of Asia spiced by African, Latin and European sounds. The Taiko drumming beats (and I mean beats) a macho time in a very regular pattern. Over this very physical sound, Mwata Bowden (8 Bold Souls) improvises his large baritone saxophone. The effect is similar to fellow Chicago percussionist Kahil El Zabar’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, except the beat is from the East. Double reedist Robbie Hunsinger to add a call and response joins Bowden’s saxophone and clarinet. He even picks up a digeridoo on "Early Dance” pushing the recording to an entire world music. Most songs state a simple pattern for the reeds or Aoki’s bass to improvise over. This engaging approach comes directly from the heart and soul of a true innovator of jazz.

Track List:Movement; Kurodabushi; River; Color Coordination; Early Dance; Floating Weeds; Ink Erasers; Fast Ride; Apology.

Personnel: Tatsu Aoki

| Record Label: Southport Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Across the Universe" CD/LP/Track Review Across the Universe
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 1, 2016
Read "Factory Girl" CD/LP/Track Review Factory Girl
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 22, 2016
Read "Unfolding In Tempo" CD/LP/Track Review Unfolding In Tempo
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "Mettã" CD/LP/Track Review Mettã
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 26, 2016
Read "Upset The Status Quo" CD/LP/Track Review Upset The Status Quo
by James Nadal
Published: May 11, 2016
Read "A Curious Feeling" CD/LP/Track Review A Curious Feeling
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 16, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!