Featuring: Sabu Toyozumi
LOVELY SILVER 6,000 KM (PART 1)
LOVELY SILVER 6,000 KM (PART 2)
LOVELY SILVER 6,000 KM (PART 3)
SHOULDER BLADE AND HIP JOINT
Recorded live on 16 March 1998 at C・S・Aka Renga 赤れんが, Yamaguchi City, Japan byTakeo Suetomi 末冨健夫
Maciej Lewenstein -
The Quietly Clouds And A Wild Crane is a duo performance by pianist Yuji Takahashi and drummer Sabu Toyozumi, recorded in Yamaguchi City in 1998 with both contributing additional percussion. The latter, who turns 80 this July, may be immediately familiar to enthusiasts of free improvisation from his recordings with significant figures in Western free improvisation; the Chap-Chap series includes duos with Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, late British trombonist Paul Rutherford and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. A student of Iannis Xenakis, Takahashi, now 84, is both a distinguished composer, whose work ranges from protest songs and classical genres to electronic music, and an outstanding concert pianist who has recorded works from Bach, Satie and Schoenberg to Rzewski and Takemitsu. His Messiaen recordings include Visions de l’Amen for two pianos with Peter Serkin.
The breadth of those collective associations comes through strongly in the program, two extended improvisations entitled “Lovely Silver 6000 km” and “Shoulder Blade and Hip Joint”, the former approaching 34 minutes, the latter 30. Dreams or dances, sometimes expressionist, sometimes impressionist, they are suffused with a kind of light, whether it is the contrast of rhythmic patterns that Toyozumi builds from the different elements in his kit to the way Takahashi, at one point, contrasts dense and dissonant clusters in the bass register with sparkling consonance in the treble.
That the various titles suggest both impressionism and immediate physicality is entirely in keeping with the music’s bright complexity and rich playfulness. While Takahashi can throw off fractured runs with the lightness of water drops and flower petals, Toyozumi matches that with a passage on “Shoulder Blade and Hip Joint” making extended use of birdcalls, whether accomplished with sheer oral technique or a dedicated device.