Arashi – “Jikan” (PNL Records, 2019)

“Jikan” is a great result of collaboration between three jazz masters – it’s Akira Sakata (alto saxophone, Bb clarinet and vocals), Johan Berthling (double bass) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums & percussion). Three musicians have their own style, unique sound and expressive playing manner. Each of them had already developped innovative point of view, modern conception and effective playing technique. The improvisers are the central figures of avant-garde jazz scene. The collaborations with other famous jazz masters, interesting projects, driving collective improvisations and great releases – these are the main activities of these musicians. The musicians are improvising with passion, drive, expression, creativity and masterful virtuosity.

The basics of avant-garde jazz, eclectic and energetic collective improvisation, innovative experimental jazz and modern jazz intonations contain the main stylistic base of “Jikan”. The music is created with impression and spontanity. Open form is used almost everywhere – that gives an opportunity to improvise spontaneously, with surprises, different motions and characters. The musicians have inventive playing style and excellent playing technique. Here masterful virtuosity, expressive playing manner, sparkling passages and ornamental texture are gently joined together. Improvisers like to search new ways of playing, explore new fields of musical language and extract strange timbres. Sonoristic experiments become the main accent of all sections – improvisers are experimenting on instrumental, timbral, melodic and rhythmic sections. That finally makes an effective, bright, innovative and awakening instrumental section. It’s conatined by synthesis of experimental, classical, extended, original, strange, evocative and exclusive ways of playing. Musicians manage to create multi-layed, bright, passionate and colorful pattern. An independent, moving and simply fantastic melody line is formed and kept all the time. Saxophone’s and clarinet’s tunes become the main accents of it. Akira Sakata is a great improviser – his music is a mix of innovative ideas, splendid virtuosity, invention and drive. Roaring bursting riffs, perturbating sessions, dramatic culminations, driving expressive melodies, wild furious blow outs, transcendental dizzy passages, gorgeous ornaments – all these elements contain the center of saxophone and clarinet melodies. Interesting, evocative and expressive vocal makes a colorful background, is used as an organic coloristic and brings new colors and sounds to the melody line. Free improvisation, the main elements of Asian and European music, American avant-garde jazz, the main elements of Japanese improvisational and Western Europe contemporary academical music are gently joined together in Akira Sakata’s music. An impressive rhythmic section is created by using double bass, percussion and drums. Double bass also is a useful instrument to create a stable bass line and multi-colorful background. Bassist Johan Berthling is the master of his art – the music is full of fresh tunes, moving trills, soft elegant pizzicatto, stormy aggressive culminations and all kinds of timbres. Repetitive rhythmic series contain a tight and steady bass line, sonoristic experiments help to explore new fields and extract strange, bright and simply original timbres. From silent pauses to tremendous culminations, light peaceful episodes, murmuring swingy pieces, minimalistic samples to roaring, growling, vibrant and wild riffs, breaking sessions and passionate melodies – improviser passes through wide range of moods and characters. Nervous expressive rhythms, aggressive explosing boosts, frantic spills, wild thrills, awakening striking culminations which lead straight to real storms of sounds and rhythms – that’s the base of Paal Nilssen-Love’s improvisations. All kinds of rhythms are fused here – expressive and amazing melody line is gently corresponsing to passionate, explosing and driving rhythmic section. The music is filled with driving, evocative and dynamic sound.

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