"Sotto Voce" CD
Genres: free jazz, improv
Bryan Day / PE
3803 S 25th St.
Omaha, NE 68107
Jul 21 - 27 2003
Voce collects three live Japanese free jazz improvisations that
will appeal most to improv fans. Although Japan is not necessarily
known as the epicentre of free jazz, this is a very solid release,
featuring solid improvised performances on the piano, saxophone,
percussion, electric guitar, and more. Right from the first track, an often times
sparse, yet still energetic performance, recorded September 24
2000, the listener will be pleased by the talent displayed here.
Accessibility is out the door, and chaos in the vein of Brotzmann
and perhaps even Coleman is what we're treated to. The
performance's "climax" occurs with about ten minutes to go
in the piece, when the electric guitar and drum combo gets real
vicious, smashing about like a free jazz drill. Things cool down with
a short piano and sax bit, but not for long as all the instruments
join efforts in the last five minutes, creating a cataclysmic
cacophony of noise to finish the performance off.
The second performance, at Theatre "Poo" in Tokyo is a
similar thirty improv performance of the same quality as the first.
The dribbling guitarwork is of special significance, although the
other instruments are also used with fantastic fluency. Demented slurs
characterize the saxophone, whereas the drum stutters madly and the
piano rolls along with ease. Track number three, aka the finale, is
only eight minutes long. It's a warmer, gentler piece until the final
three minutes, when things become explosive; the drums fire away like
a machine gun until the last bit, when everything calms down for the
Sotto Voce is not going to appeal to most audiences. That's
not the idea. This is a free jazz album for free jazz fans. The
Japanese improv scene is quickly emerging to international
significance, and this underground artifact gives you three reasons
not to miss out.
3 tracks, distributed by the
label, released 2003]