Eine Kleine Nachtmusik 003
Numbered edition of 500 copies in hand-stitched embossed art paper sleeves from Ikuro Takahashi’s (Fushitsusha/Kousokuya et al) own private press. This is another major archival release from the vaults of the Japanese underground, documenting a group led by Tori Kudo (Maher Shalal Hash Baz/Noise/Guys ‘n’ Dolls et al) on piano and featuring Kanji Nakao (Compostera) on saxophone, Yoshi Kuge (Compostera) on drums and Takuya Nishimura (Che-SHIZU) on bass. This is the closest that Tori has ever come to cutting a free jazz album, though it’s inevitably a couple of sails more skewed than a simple investigation of the elasticity of genre. Nakao is a fantastic player, now a model of control, now barking through the low register like a headier Sonny Rollins and Tori pushes him the whole way, pursuing ideas with big barracking chords and dancing around the themes with ploy-rhythmic re-statements. There’s a nice, dusty feel to the recording, a time machine aspect that seems to lend it an extra layer of poignancy while the tough/tender interaction perfectly captures that sublime happy/sad feel of all of the best Maher/Tori sides. Two concerts are included, one from 1995 and another from 1996. Many fantastic hitherto-unknown releases appearing from the mists of the Tokyo underground of late and this is another highly recommended installment.