Jul 14, 2010

Jazz Art Sengawa 2010: Day One

It was extraordinarily three days. The followings are my sentiments over some of the performances I have attended.

Fujiwara Kiyoto and Komatsu Reiko

Fujirawa played splendidly on this set. His double bass sounded so warm and full. I cannot help but immersed myself into the sound. And his partner, the percussionist Komatsu, brought an exotic instrument.

On the bandstand, there was a huge metal frame, hanging dozens of black stone. The instrument were called Sanukite (or Sanukitophone), a sort of Lithophone (wikipedia). The stones are a rare kind of granitoid and famous for its beautiful sound. Indeed, the sound was unique and profound.

Tsuchitori Toshiyuki played "Sanukaito Stone Music", recorded live in 1984.

Also I found an academic paper about the instrument. You can read the PDF version of it here.

Regarding the performance, the duo showed a very interesting approach. The music was all composed and on beat but otherwise I could feel much freedom on their playing. Later on the set, Komori Keiko (reeds) and Yoshino Hiroshi (bass) joined but the music was still having never dull moments and kept its edge. I had to give up Tanaka-Yamashita-Umezu Trio but it was well worth for that. Definitively, this set was one of the highlights of this year's festival.

Luzazul featuring Komatsu Reiko played "Pavane pour une infante défunte" per Maurice Ravel on December 14, 2009.

Nanao Tavito with Makigami Koichi

It seemed that Nanao enjoyed himself talking to the audience as well as playing. He was open, talkative and easygoing youngster who talked about the subjects like music, his life, up and down of being artist. Being solo, he could sing and talk as much as he would like to.

His new album "Billion Voices" was just released so I assume he mainly played tunes from the album. But it was not. Instead, he played a lot of other people's tunes, like Elton John's "Your Song" and Lou Reed's "Walking on the Wild Side" with Japanese lyrics. His guitar play was economical, sometimes even skeletical, but never lost the feel. Contrary to that, the words are abundant; His adapted lyrics are respectful to the originals and added with his own expression as well.

In midst of the 1st set, Makigami arrived. Soon the two embarked themselves in an improvisation of voices. Makigami occasionally played cornet and Nanao used sampler sometimes but basically, it was all non-verbal voice duo. It was wonderful. I was thrilled to see them spelling out mystical voices each other and apparently they enjoyed themselves doing that. After playing 20 minutes, Makigami left with the audience cheered.

It was well into the 2nd set. All of a sudden, Nanao put down his guitar, and got down to the floor; he became invisible from the audience. Then he started to tell a tale.

It was a story about the beginning of house music and its creators. Most originators of the music was gay people, who had so much emotion of joy and sorrow in their life. For them, clubs were the sactuary and dancing to the music was a way to take away the blues of grim realities.

Sans any accompaniment, occasionally teasing with the audience, Nanao told the tale using voices of various tones through an alteration filter for about 20 minutes. It was humorous, and sad story.

After that, he took his guitar again and launched "If you want to be a rock star," a tune from the new album. It is a story of a man who aspires to be a rock musician. He quitted day job, abandoned his family and went somewhere else to pursue his dream. There was no mention what became of him.

It was the last number of the night. The time was running out and I have to leave. I felt tired but it was pleasant.

Related Entries:
Jazz Art Sengawa 2010: Additional Concerts
Jazz Art Sengawa 2010
Jazz Art Sengawa

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