Reviews that mention Yusuke Akai

December 30, 2011

Kris Wanders-Mani Neumeier Quintet

Taken By Surprise
Not Two MW-861-2

Kris Wanders Outfit

In Remembrance of the Human Race

Not Two MW-856-2

Avant Jazz’s history is filled with unacknowledged legends and “what ifs”. Musicians, who didn’t get the right breaks, changed career plans for various reasons or became isolated, are legion both in North America and Europe.

One tantalizing thought is what if Dutch tenor saxophonist Kris Wanders, featured on both these notable CDs, had stayed in Europe instead of immigrating to Australia in the late 1970s? On evidence here, Wanders, an early member of the Globe Unity Orchestra (GUO), who often played with Peter Brötzmann, still has enough inventive grit and power in his playing to hold his own with anyone – including the seminal European Free Jazzers with which he trades licks on In Remembrance of the Human Race. Another question is what may have happened if Swiss drummer, Mani Neumeier, another early GUO member, had stayed with Free Music instead of founding pioneering KrautRock outfit Guru Guru? Judging from his well-paced, unpretentious playing on Taken By Surprise, recorded with Wanders and an Australian trio, his influence on percussionists may have been sizeable. MORE