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Miles Okazaki: Thisness

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JazzWise Na całym albumie związek pomiędzy kompozycją a improwizacją, a także między liderem i akompaniatorami, jest podobnie nieoczywisty i inspirujący
DownBeat Okazaki z zespołem eksplorują kosmiczny jazz, motywy bluesowe i instrumentację rockową. Rezultatem jest muzyka o "szerokoekranowym" wymiarze i wydawałoby się absurdalna swobodna podróż rytmicznych gobelinów, wysmakowanych improwizacji i kapryśnych melodii
AllAboutJazz Gitarzysta tak utalentowany jak Miles Okazaki wymaga pełnej uwagi słuchacza. Dzieje się tak niezależnie od tego, czy analizujemy jego diabelsko złożone kompozycje, czy przyglądamy się jego zdumiewającej technice, czy po prostu przyglądamy się zmieniającemu się metrum i rytmowi, które przenikają jego muzykę

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Avant Jazz / Free Improvisation / Avant-Garde
premiera polska:
2024-03-29
kontynent: Ameryka Północna
kraj: USA
opakowanie: Gatefoldowe etui
opis:
Długoletni kompan Steve'a Colemana, z którym nagrał dla Pi Recordings kilka znakomitych płyt, od kilku już lat zachwyca swoimi autorskimi projektami. Trzecia płyta elektryzującego kwartetu, w skład którego wchodzą klawiszowiec Matt Mitchell, basista Anthony Tidd i drummer Sean Rickman to już nie nowy rozdział, jak to było w przypadku "The Sky Below", następującej po "Trickster". To nowy tom, prezentujący zdumiewająco śmiałą wizję polistylistycznej muzyki, która urzeka strukturalną płynnością i zdolnością naturalnej zmiany kształtu, nie tracąc przy tym zwartości narracyjnej. Okazaki z kolegami odebrali od Steve'a Colemana niezłą szkołę życia, skoro potrafią wziąć w artystyczne karby swoją "rozkosznie surrealistyczną wyobraźnię". Dobrze, że płyta trwa tylko 40 minut, bo gdyby grali tak bez końca, można by dostać "słuchopląsu"
autor: Witek Leśniak
Copyright © 1996-2024 Multikulti Project. All rights reserved

JazzWise tak pisze o jego najnowszej płycie "Na całym albumie związek pomiędzy kompozycją a improwizacją, a także między liderem i akompaniatorami, jest podobnie nieoczywisty i inspirujący, co jasno pokazuje, że Miles Okazaki jest artystą o silnej tożsamości, która nabiera rozmachu wśród innych, podobnie myślących artystów"

JazzTrail napisał "To, co robią tutaj członkowie kwartetu, jest po prostu oszałamiające, dodaje nowy, fascynujący wymiar historii gitary, klawiszy, basu i perkusji, sprawiając, że złożona muzyka brzmi bardzo naturalnie"

DownBeat z kolei "Okazaki z zespołem eksplorują kosmiczny jazz, motywy bluesowe i instrumentację rockową. Rezultatem jest muzyka o "szerokoekranowym" wymiarze i wydawałoby się absurdalna swobodna podróż rytmicznych gobelinów, wysmakowanych improwizacji i kapryśnych melodii"

AllAboutJazz pisze "Gitarzysta tak szalenie utalentowany jak Miles Okazaki wymaga pełnej uwagi słuchacza. Dzieje się tak niezależnie od tego, czy analizujemy jego diabelsko złożone kompozycje, czy przyglądamy się jego zdumiewającej technice, czy po prostu przyglądamy się zmieniającemu się metrum i rytmowi, które przenikają jego muzykę"


Editor's info
"convulsive beauty, propulsive rhythm, elusive meaning…a spontaneous and unpredictable work of art.., accordingly discordant, subversively accordant, a pendulum crushing the cage of temporality. This is Surrealism in practice. This is jazz. This is freedom."
- from the liner notes by Robin D.G. Kelley

Thisness is Miles Okazaki's third volume of compositions for Trickster, a quartet featuring Matt Mitchell on piano, Anthony Tidd on bass, and Sean Rickman on drums. The album is a set of themes that are shuffled and connected in different ways to make four large movements. Okazaki describes the process in the liner notes:
"Our previous albums were made up of what I would simply call "songs," but for this project I decided to expand the format. The intention was to make something like an exquisite corpse, the collective improvisations developed by the Surrealists. So for this album my job as composer was to bring in some ideas, set them in motion and then listen, trying to recognize the value of serendipitous events at transitional points in the music and lead the band down whatever path may be opening. The borderlands are where the Trickster hangs out, the undefined space where logic dissolves and creativity thrives. My hope was that the listener would enjoy the experience of passing through these boundaries between contrasting episodes."
The music draws on a few sources of inspiration that have connected creative elements: a magical "far off place" called Salt Creek, from a watercolor by Linda Okazaki, the writings on Surrealism by Robin D.G. Kelley, architectural concepts from producer David Breskin, and the poetry of Sun Ra. The idea that this band has been working toward since their first album is most fully realized on Thisness, a sound that discards notions of logic and control and strives toward something more like collective dreaming.

DownBeat * * * *
Thisness is the natural evolution of guitarist Miles Okazaki’s surrealist machinations and whimsical lyricism. Okazaki and his band Trickster, featuring keyboardist Matt Mitchell, bassist Anthony Tidd and drummer Sean Rickman, explore astral jazz, blues motifs, and rock instrumentation through a labyrinth of divergent musical themes. The result is cinematic in scope, absurdist in substance: a freewheeling journey of rhythmic tapestries, cerebral improvisation and whimsical melody.
“In Some Far Off Place” opens with a flamenco flourish, and gracefully layers in Okazaki’s muscular phrasing and ephemeral vocals. It’s a playful, frenetic tune that swells into a rapid-fire call-and-response between Mitchell’s mentholated keys and Okazaki’s elastic acoustics. Buoyed by Anthony Tidd’s reliable bass and Rickman’s sumptuous drums, the song builds in heat gradually, exploring distinct but interconnected channels of creative energy and improvisation. The band moves into electronic funk territory in “Years In Space,” a methodical jam anchored by Tidd’s languid bass and Rickman’s dynamic drums. Mitchell’s piano explores soulful melodies, a foil to Okazaki’s acoustic musings. The way the quartet moves from one distinct theme to the next can feel disjointed at times, and yet the transitions are exquisitely subtle. “Years In Space” is characterized by this juxtaposition. What started as a funk piece devolves into deconstructed free improvisation by the end.
“I’ll Build A World” starts off similarly, with an R&B backbeat and straightahead jazz melody.
By Ivana Ng

All About Jazz * * * *
A guitarist as freakishly talented as Miles Okazaki demands a listener's full attention. This is the case whether one is parsing his fiendishly complex compositions, or beholding his astonishing technique, or simply taking in all the shifting meters and grooves that permeate his music. From the remarkably ambitious Work (Volumes 1-6), his self-released solo document in 2018 of the complete works of Thelonious Monk, to his recent albums with his Trickster quartet, like Trickster (Pi Recordings, 2017) or The Sky Below (Pi Recordings, 2019), there's never a sense that Okazaki is taking anything for granted or coasting; his musicianship always displays consummate thoughtfulness and dedication to craft. It is certainly "work" for Okazaki, and sometimes it may feel that way for the listener as well— although one of the things that makes Thisness so compelling is that the music it offers is so engaging and accessible, one can appreciate it without having to fathom the esoterica behind its construction.
Some of Okazaki's most important contributions as a sideman have been to Steve Coleman's various projects, most recently on the superb Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (Pi Recordings, 2018). Coleman's music can also be conceptually difficult, but the triumphant grooves at its core always outweigh its more challenging aspects, and it is clear that Okazaki has followed a similar path here, helped to no small degree by Coleman's unparalleled rhythm unit of bassist Anthony Tidd and drummer Sean Rickman, both of whom have played on all of Okazaki's Trickster albums. Tidd and Rickman have a preternatural ability to intuit and adapt to quick transitions, as well as a seemingly unlimited repertoire of rhythmic motifs, so they are perfectly suited for both the intricacies and the grooves at the heart of Okazaki's music. Keyboardist Matt Mitchell is another crucial component, with his own combination of conceptual sophistication and technical brilliance, and a willingness to follow the fluid contours of Okazaki's compositions wherever they might lead.
One of the immediately noticeable qualities of Thisness is that the music "breathes." Unlike the earlier Trickster releases, which had shorter, concentrated pieces and a plenitude of discrete ideas, here we have just four tracks, about ten minutes each, and their evolution feels fundamentally organic. In the liner notes Okazaki discusses his goal of taking an "exquisite corpse" approach to the music's creation, bringing in ideas that could be altered and reconfigured during the playing of each piece. As he puts it, "The borderlands are where the Trickster hangs out, the undefined space where logic dissolves and creativity thrives." The beauty of the music is found precisely in those points of indeterminacy, the places where the next transition unfolds.
The track titles are taken from Sun Ra's poem "The Far Off Place," each one from a different line—and they are better seen as parts of a whole than as distinct creations, especially given the music's shape-shifting essence, where one idea flows into the next almost seamlessly, with multiple transitions within each track. The expansive opening of "In Some Far Off Place," with Okazaki's acoustic guitar floating above the lilting pulse of the band, soon becomes something more hard-edged, with Tidd and Rickman generating the first of the album's many grooves, and with Okazaki bringing in his electric guitar overdubbed alongside the acoustic one to heighten the thematic contrast. "Years in Space" gets funky right at the outset, built at first around a repeated descending phrase from Okazaki complemented wonderfully by Mitchell before Rickman starts breaking up the rhythm and a rock-inflected section emerges, leading Mitchell into a scintillating dialogue with Okazaki.
The complexity of the music never wanes, and if one wants to pause to analyze it there are certainly opportunities to do so. Dissecting the intricate passages in "I'll Build a World" could keep a person busy, as well as trying to figure out how Mitchell and Okazaki can remain in perfect sync while playing them. Okazaki himself might at times be just a bit too clever in employing his "robots," computer-generated sounds that add texture—and perhaps unnecessary distraction—at various moments in each of the tracks. But in the end, with this band it will always be possible to stop thinking and simply enjoy the music, and Thisness may offer the best opportunity yet for it.
By Troy Dostert

muzycy:
Miles Okazaki: Guitar, Vocals, Robots
Matt Mitchell: Piano, Fender Rhodes, Prophet-6
Anthony Tidd: Electric Bass
Sean Rickman: Drums

utwory:
1. In Some Far Off Place 09:27
2. Years in Space 10:03
3. I'll Build a World 09:59
4. And Wait for You 09:34

wydano: April 29, 2022
more info: www.pirecordings.com
more info2: www.milesokazaki.com

Pi93

Opis

Wydawca
Pi Recordings (USA)
Artysta
Miles Okazaki
Nazwa
Thisness
Instrument
guitar
Zawiera
1CD
Data premiery
2024-03-29
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