Reviews that mention Itaru Oki

February 13, 2017

Guérineau/Oki/Carter/Sato

D’un Rive à L’autre
Improvising Beings ib 47

Like carriage horses in harness, history and nostalgia are often linked. That’s why all-star sessions of Classic Jazz and Swing performers were often recorded during the 1940s and 1950s, in order to document important music performed by its originators. That longing for times past was sometimes a by-product was as inevitable as couturiers adding decorations to classic fashion when shown again.

D’un Rive à L’autre gathers together four veterans present during France’s first rapprochement with Free Jazz in the 1960s and 1970s – trumpeter and flugelhornist Itaru Oki, tenor saxophonist Sylvain Guérineau, bassist Kent Carter and drummer Makoto Sato – to explore five group compositions. The four are so familiar with the twists and turns of in-the-moment creation that they run through the pieces with the enthusiasm of four decades ago amplified by the cumulative aptitude they’ve picked up along the way. Not a working band, its four members have different histories. Oki and Sato for instance were part of the Marteau Rouge band with guitarist Jean-François Pauvros and electronic manipulator Jean-Marc Foussat, who coincidentally recorded this disc. Guérineau has worked in duo with Foussat plus in other groups, while Carter the best-known, is an American who expatriated along with Steve Lacy in the 1970s, and having settled in France occupies himself with notated and improvised music. MORE

August 26, 2015

Itaru Oki & Axel Dörner

Root of Bohemian
Improvising Beings IB36

Birgit Ulher/Leonel Kaplan

Stereo Trumpet

Relative Pitch Records RPR 1030

Creating unaccompanied free-form duets can be more of a challenge with trumpets than any other instrument. With no series of keys like a saxophone or even the additional timbres stretching from a trombone slide means that inspiration must be expressed through fingering and breath control. Two international brass duos – German Birgit Ulher and Argentinean Leonel Kaplan plus German Axel Dörner and Japanese, long-time French resident Itaru Oki – deal admirably with the situation. Yet each twosome untangles the puzzle in a unique fashion. MORE

June 13, 2013

Label Spotlight:

Improvising Beings
By Ken Waxman

A combination of altruism, friendship and obsession are behind Paris’ Improvising Beings (IB) label, which in less than four years has produced 20 CDs, featuring a cross section of deeply committed French, American and Japanese sound experimenters. Many more discs will appear in the next few months, because as artistic director Julien Palomo says: “I’m not producing records. I am documenting lives at a particular moment.”

Palomo, whose day job is head of student cultural affairs at Paris’ Sciences Po, began documenting free jazz a decade ago when he became friends with American alto saxophonist Sonny Simmons. Within a couple of years he, Michel Kristof and Roy Morris established Hello World! Simmons’ Web site, and began offering downloads of Simmons’ sessions. Then the group started burning limited edition CD-Rs that Simmons could sell at gigs. “We found ourselves spending nights in my kitchen burning CD-Rs, pushing the inkjet printer to its limits and assembling things. But by April 2008 we were all a bit tired of the DIY method and I quit for a year,” he recalls. MORE

December 25, 2012

Abdelhaï Bennani/Itaru Oki/Alan Silva/Makoto Sato

New Today, New Everyday
Improvising Beings ib13

Meticulous idealism can sometimes have as ill-advised an effect as cynical indifference as this partially indispensible two-CD set demonstrates. Paris-based tenor saxophonist Abdelhaï Bennani, although possessing an individual take on Free Jazz, records infrequently. So that anything he, and associates like Japanese trumpeter Itaru Oki and drummer Makoto Sato do, is worthy of note. And in fact with New Today, New Everyday the three veterans have come up with a notable session of profound, energetic sounds. MORE

December 5, 2011

Benjamin Duboc/Itaru Oki

Nobusiko
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Akira Sakata & Jim O’Rourke with Chikamorachi

…and that's the Story of Jazz

Family Vineyard FV78

KuRuWaSan

KuRuWaSan

Quintoquarto QQ002

Globe Unity: Japan

By Ken Waxman

With Japan’s year filled with disasters both geographical – an earthquake and a tsunami – and societal –political instability and falling interest rates – it’s heartening to hear CDs proving that musicians’ improvisational skills are still advanced. The sessions are also noteworthy, because like relief efforts, their success is due to collaborations with foreigners. MORE

January 28, 2011

Benjamin Duboc/Itaru Oki

Nobusiko
Improvising Beings ib01

Angharad Davies/Axel Dörner

A.D.

Another Timbre at31

Creating novel techniques for instruments as familiar as the trumpet, the double bass and the violin is difficult enough. However these duo CDs are doubly absorbing, since the participants have created individual inventions for one brass and one chordaphone while stretching outwards their expected timbres.

In a context such as this, Nobusiko is actually the more traditional of the discs. That’s because French bassist Benjamin Duboc habitually uses the stolid percussive qualities of his four strings to maintain a chromatic bottom. Meanwhile Japanese-born Itaru Oki, who has long made his home in France, bounces, splutters and spits out as many textures as can be imagined from his trumpet, flugelhorn, wood flute and plastic tubing. Duboc, one of the busiest bassists in Paris, may also be able to foretell and calculate many of Oki’s rubato moves, since both are members of NUTS, the excellent French Free Jazz quintet. MORE

October 6, 2010

Festival Météo, Mulhouse, France

August 24 to August 28
By Ken Waxman

Proving that varieties of improvised music can sound as different as the personalities of those who play it, the annual Météo festival offered a cornucopia of noteworthy sounds from the bombastic to the barely audible, solo or in groups.

Venues in this Upper Rhine French city, located 30 kilometres northwest of Basel, Switzerland, also reflected this sonic diversity. Performances take place in the hushed surroundings of a 12th Century chapel downtown, and on the city’s outskirts, a capacious night club usually used for rock shows; and, new this year, within the expanses of an abandoned 1930s’ thread manufacturing factory. MORE

December 18, 2008

Bondonneau/Chiesa/Lasserre/Lazro/Sassi

Humus
Amor Fati Fatum 016

Siddik/Sato/Oki/Lasserre/Duboc

Nuts

Sans Bruit sbr004

Like many nations in Europe, France has a long-established, fully-developed and significant jazz and improvised music scene. Unlike players elsewhere however, in general French musicians appear most comfortable gigging within the country’s borders and collaborating with locals. Thus, to our detriment, appreciation for significant French talent is somewhat limited. However, these fine sessions could help rectify the situation. MORE

December 18, 2008

Siddik/Sato/Oki/Lasserre/Duboc

Nuts
Sans Bruit sbr004

Bondonneau/Chiesa/Lasserre/Lazro/Sassi

Humus

Amor Fati Fatum 016

Like many nations in Europe, France has a long-established, fully-developed and significant jazz and improvised music scene. Unlike players elsewhere however, in general French musicians appear most comfortable gigging within the country’s borders and collaborating with locals. Thus, to our detriment, appreciation for significant French talent is somewhat limited. However, these fine sessions could help rectify the situation. MORE