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...

265

Liudas Mockunas / Ryoji Hojito: Vacation Music

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Not as, might be suggested by the title, songs to put you in the holiday mood, but seven improvisations recorded by Lithuanian saxophonist Liudas Mockūnas and Japanese pianist Ryoji Hojito, while the latter was on vacation in Lithuania. The pair met during the course of Hojito's travels around the country and, without thinking too much, went into a studio for a spontaneous session which yielded the disc's first three cuts. It is supplemented by four tracks recorded a year later during a concert in the national capital, Vilnius. Such renewed commitment confirms the worth of the outcome of this serendipitous meeting of two fertile imaginations.

A co-founder of the adventurous No Business imprint, the Lithuanian also weighs in as one of the country's premier improvisors, appearing alongside an ever increasing catalogue of Baltic, Scandinavian, and US performers. Mockūnas is a virtuoso, particularly on the baritone, where he commands the upper registers in tandem with shrieking overtones and deep gut-wrenching blasts to add a visceral and emotional edge to his blowing. Guitarist/turntablist Yoshihide Otomo was a prime influence inspiring the pianist to expand his range of expression, which has since blossomed with the likes of bassist Joëlle Léandre and saxophonist John Zorn. Hojito ranges between a straightforward, pretty lyricism and the type of manipulation associated with the European improv scene, using small instruments and fixtures on the piano interior, at times recalling the work of British pianist Keith Tippett.

Together the twosome proves responsive and audacious. "Sunday" finds clarinet and piano combining in folk-inflected melody. One of the highlights, "Monday," starts out similarly bright before turning first mournful, as the reedman's nasal soprano saxophone slides between pitches, then impassioned, as the Japanese's piano preparations layer a strangely percussive white noise which imparts a quality of muffled dislocation. They turn fractious by the end, with anguished squalling sax and crashing piano.

Mockūnas takes center stage on "Wednesday," his falsetto needling and keypad popping on baritone leads to an abrasive organ like effect created by his circular lines blending with the natural echo of the venue. At 16 minutes, the fast changing "Thursday" is the longest piece and another high point. Hojito's wordless vocals and assorted noise generating objects are the wildcard; his snatches of horn, melodica and squeaky toys intertwine winningly with the saxophonist's keening harmonics in a stormy yet lyrical slab of free jazz.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Vacation Music

Vacation Music

NoBusiness Records
2011

buy
Unable to find .

SELECT e.id, e.event_type, e.musician_id, e.entity, e.festival, e.house_concert, e.city as ecity, e.state as estate, e.country as ecountry, e.location, e.dt, e.title, e.country_subd, e.state_subd, e.city_subd, e.advertised, e.start, e.price, e.currency, entity.name AS entity_name, entity.city, entity.state, entity.country, entity.country_subd AS entity_country_subd, entity.state_subd AS entity_state_subd, entity.city_subd AS entity_city_subd, country.abbrev AS country_name, currency.name AS currencyname, entity.ticket_url AS ticket_url, musician.thumb_img AS thumb_img FROM musician_event me LEFT JOIN event e ON e.id = me.event LEFT JOIN musician ON e.musician_id = musician.id LEFT JOIN entity ON entity.id = e.entity LEFT JOIN country ON country.id = entity.country LEFT JOIN currency ON currency.id = e.currency WHERE e.active <> 0 AND e.is_planned=0 AND e.dt >= CURDATE() AND me.musician = ORDER BY e.dt LIMIT 7

You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near 'ORDER BY e.dt LIMIT 7' at line 1