Sunday, 1 April 2018

Shoji Aketagawa, Kan Mikami, Toshiaki Ishizuka “Daikanjyo” 大勘定 2002 Japan Jazz ,Blues,Avant Garde


Shoji Aketagawa, Kan Mikami, Toshiaki Ishizuka “Daikanjyo” 大勘定 2002 Japan Jazz ,Blues,Avant Garde
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So typically, the first thing of notice is Kan Mikami’s monumental and totally disparate vocal style, but you’ve probably heard all about it on some other review, among his large prolific discography. So I’m going to focus here on the other musicians at play–after all, Mikami’s tortured screams are only a third of the magic here. 

In my opinion, the piano (played by the brilliant and underrated shoji aketagawa) is what really makes this the masterpiece that it is. At times, Aketagawa crashes and smashes like Cecil Taylor, but on other songs (like the title track) he opens his heart and spills it out. He’s got this intense melancholy and passion reminds one of the ballads Jacques Brel—hell, when they’re played more rhytmically, the chords sound like they could even be from a Harry Nillsson record. And don’t get me started on the incredible piano line on Takashi to Kitauonuma no Ryojo. Okay, get me started. It’s so grim and baroque, it could’ve come right out of some depressing Scott Walker song. But alas, this doesn’t have the orchestral flourishes that Walker’s studio work has, instead it is just 3 musicians playing their hearts out on a live stage. It sounds stripped down, and Mikami’s sulking voice makes it sound so naked and lonely. 

And oh!! that drumming. It’s so jazzy and magnificent. Like a 21st Century Milford Graves, it reaches dizzying improvised heights, flurries of cymbals and snares letting loose all over. Speaking of Milford, the track “Thirteen” is a brilliant melancholy flurry of improv that reminds me of Sonny Sharrock circa Ask the Ages. However, the percussion can also be focused and structured–look no further than that aforementioned title track. It also fits perfectly on Bijutsukan, where the percussion lays low, giving some open volume for Mikami to do his deranged-bluesy thing, and for Aketagawa to do his crazy dissonant freakouts. 

At moments it sounds like a massive storm, at other times, it’s almost painfully barren and silent. I may be no expert in free improv, but if this is supposed to be a part of this genre, then its definitely one of the most unique blends the genre has to offer. It’s a tense, mutant cross between blues, singer/songwriter, and explosive free improv. It’s like the best thing ever in my feeble little mind….by…aLashlann ….~

Drums – Toshiaki Ishizuka 
Piano, Ocarina, Producer – Shoji Aketagawa 
Vocals, Guitar, Co-producer – Kan Mikami

Tracklist
1 婆娑羅 9:46 
2 孝と北魚沼の旅情 13:55 
3 サーティーン 7:50 
4 りんご追分 10:26 
5 リズム 8:06 
6 大感情 8:06 
7 美術館 3:38

Basara (9:46) 
Takashi to Kitauonuma no Ryojo (13:55) 
Thirteen (7:50) 
Ringo Oiwake (10:26) 
Rhythm (8:06) 
Daikanjyo (8:06) 
Bijutsukan (3:38) 

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