Dagge Lundquist

Arashi

"Arashi" means « storm » in Japanese, and this word is indeed apt to describe the ultra-powerful music of the new trio put together by the legendary saxophonist and clarinettist Akira Sakata. Accompanied here by a diabolical, Nordic rhythm, Sakata is capable of unleashing free sparkling illuminations or more intimate, but always personal, atmospheres. Arashi alternates thunderstorms in the form of rapid and intense free assaults, with moments of pure contemplation (the calm after the storm ?) where Akira Sakata uses a warm and moving clarinet, or some powerful throat singing, by which we are instantly transported. An exceptional trio.

 

Born in Kure-city, Hiroshima in 1945. Studied marine biology at Hiroshima university. Formed a group Saibo-bunretsu (Cell fission) in Tokyo in 1969, Sakata's long lasting music quest has begun. He made many sessions with Jimmy Lions, Peter Brotzmann, Peter Kowald, Manfred Schoof. Han Bennik, Bill Laswell, Pete Cosy, Hamid Drake, John Zorn, Ronald "Shanon"Jackson, Sonny Sharrock, Toshinori Kondo, DJ Krush, Jim O'Rourke, Chris Corsano, Keiji Haino, Yoshihide Otomo, Mats Gustafsson, Joe McPhee, and more… Website

Johan was born in Botkyrka, Stockholm, Sweden in 1973. At a young age he started playing the double and electric bass and underwent musicial studies in Jönköping, Skurup and at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Stokcholm. After ending studies in 1998 he's been a full time freelance musician working with jazz, rock, improvised music and music for theatre.

He has been working internationally with notable musicians such as: Mats Gustafsson, Sten Sandell,  Raymond Strid, Paal Nilssen-Love, Akira Sakata, Goran Kajfes, Oren Ambarchi, Martin Küchen, Steve Noble, Tenniscoats, Bill Wells, Jim O'Rourke and others.

He's featured on more than 100 recordings. Active in the groups Fire!, Fire! Orchestra, Tape, Angles 9, Nacka Forum, LSB, Arashi and Goran Kajfes Subtropic Arkestra.

He's done work as a composer for film working with swedish directors such as Anders Weidemann, Lisa Langseth, Amanda Adolfsson, Jonas Selberg Augustsén, Thomas Jackson and Axel Petersen. He's been hired as a music producer by artists like Weeping Willows, Taxi Taxi, Idiot Kid, Little Children, Santa Maria, ASS, Tenniscoats and the Thing.

Nilssen-Love literally grew up in jazz. He was only five-years old back in 1979 when his parents opened the Stavanger Jazzclub, a venue they operated until 1986. A career in music came as a natural (and encouraged) choice. The young drummer began to work with saxophonist Frode Gjerstad and trumpeter Didrik Ingvaldsen in 1990, three years before he began formal jazz studies at Sund College and the Trondheim Music Conservatory. His first available recording is Enten Eller, a CD by Gjerstad's Circulasione Totale Orchestra, released in 1992. 

Being active in several bands at the same time has always been Paal's deliberate working method. He is constantly conscious about the projects he is in, as his participation in each and one of them is fully dedicated. Playing is not about getting from start to goal, but rather being in an everlasting process, a continuous movement where each new piece of music performed is a prolongation of the latest. Hence, keeping focused and concentrating all energy around what’s happening there and then is of greatest importance - as is the freedom in the music, the ability of being free within the expression. 

Today Paal's portfolio includes Atomic, School Days, The Thing, Frode Gjerstad Trio, Sten Sandell Trio, Scorch Trio, Territory Band, FME, Chicago Tentet, and various duo projects such as with Peter Brötzmann, Ken Vandermark, John Butcher, organist Nils Henrik Asheim and noise wizard Lasse Marhaug. He has made numberless performances at festivals and clubs in Europe and USA and participated on more than 100 recordings. He runs his own annual festival – All Ears - for improvised music in Oslo, which is an important part of his musical life, and he plans to start his own recording label for vinyl productions. 

Like Pat Metheny put it in 2002, after having played with Paal at Molde Jazz festival: He is simply one of the best new musicians I've heard during the latest years! And after having heard Paal in 9 different settings at the same festival, Down Beat reporter Dan Quelette stated: His week at Molde proved a revelation: Nilssen-Love is one of the most innovative, dynamic and versatile drummers in jazz!

Current tour dates

May 1, 2017 - May 7, 2017
Also available on request!

BOOKING ENQUIRIES

Contact us if you want to offer a date for this tour, and we will advise you on availability.


Arashi
Semikujira (Trost Records, 2016)

70 years old veteran of Japanese avant-garde jazz reedist Akira Sakata leads furious acoustic trio with two young Scandinavians Swedish bassist Johan Berthling and Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love. The name of the trio is Arashi ("Storm"), and their second album, released two years after their self-tittled debut,recorded in Swedish studio and released on Austrian label, is titled "Semikujira" ("North Pacific Whale").

Paal Nilssen-Love is extremely prolific artist and producer pushing all Nordic adventurous noisy jazz ahead, bassist Berthling is known as Swedish super bands Angles and Fire! / Fire! Orchestra member, so one can expect really muscular and quirky rhythm section work here they fulfill expectations in full. Still main star of the show is Akira himself, who not only plays alto sax and clarinet, but adds lot of vocalize (which hardly can be called "singing"). 

Differently from many other Akira's more abstract works, Arashi is power trio which plays well framed muscular free jazz in New York of 80s tradition, but on very Japanese manner. Over the tight rhythm basis Akira blows some attacking if quite soulful sax soloing, but much more impressive is his absolutely shamanic vocalizes in Japanese, repetitive, hypnotizing and very organic. 

From songs titles it's obvious that Japanese folklore, or better to say ritualistic songs were taken as source of inspiration, and the result is not less than fascinating. Without loosing trad songs structure and some melodious component,power trio reworks them right to free jazz shamanic compositions which surprisingly enough don't lose their relation with shamanic nature of originals. For sure Sakata's voice is not for everyone taste, but those familiar with Japanese brutal avant-rock or experimental radical free jazz (which was a main source of inspiration for John Zorn series of early releases), or fans of Diamanda Gallas' singing will accept Akira's vocal pyrotechnics without big problems. Arashi's debut two years ago received lot of positive critics, their second work is even better. Slava Gliožeris, Jazz Music Archives


A couple of years ago Akira Sakata, a powerful saxophone player who has been on the forefront of Japan’s free jazz scene since the early ’70s, teamed up with Johan Berthling and Paal Nilssen-Love, each one part of some of today’s best rhythm sections (Fire! and The Thing, respectively) and both tireless musical explorers. The result was the record Arashi, that true to its title (meaning "storm") presented a band with a huge, powerful sound, but also capable of a variety of different moods, and despite recording together for the first time they already showed clear ideas and a strong interplay. This new album picks up from there and further develops the same discourse, mostly working on the band’s strengths but also looking for new formal solutions. In the meantime, Arashi has become the name of the band, and the time passed touring together had a clear effect on the ensemble sound, making it even stronger and more cohesive.

The first track, Snowing on the Temple Garden begins with a sparse base of bass, bells and percussions, over which Sakata evokes the atmosphere described by the title with a beautiful, understated theme on clarinet, creating a tangible tension that prepares the ground for the rest of the album. The following Blow of Humpback Whale returns to more familiar terrains, with Berthling and Nilssen-Love providing an explosive free jazz vehicle for the fast winding lines and high register cries of Sakata’s alto sax. Saitaro Bushi, based on a traditional Japanese song, opens with a fast dialogue between bass and drums, soon joined by the wild, theatrical vocals of Sakata, screaming over the free rhythm base, then picking up the alto sax for one of the most intense solos of the album. The following section features a bouncing drum solo leading to a layered coda of reverberating metal percussions, revealing a perfectly calibrated compositional structure. Again Sheep Said “Wolf is Coming” is another showcase for Sakata’s vocal explosions, a chaotic intermission before the more nuanced final track. Semikujira (Right Whale) begins with a passionate, blues-tinged solo on the alto over a steady percussive base of single drum hits that recalls Japanese ceremonial music. The performance then slowly morphs into an intense free jazz excursion, with solo spotlights for all the musicians, before returning to the sparse atmosphere of the beginning, with Sakata’s lyrical playing flowing over the textural backdrop of bass and percussions until the album ends with another high energy collective exchange.

Semikujira is a major new addition to these musicians already vast discographies, and one of the most satisfying listens of the year so far – a powerful, thoughtfully constructed work that blends familiar but disparate musical dimensions into a convincing whole, while preserving the spontaneity of instant creation. The same qualities are mirrored on the cover artwork, an apparently traditional illustration (by Sagaki Keita) that on closer inspection reveals a quirky, irreverent world of strange creatures. Highly recommended. Nicola Negri, Free Jazz Collective


Now into his seventh decade, the Japanese saxophonist Akira Sakata has emerged from long years of obscurity (in the west, at least) with a fully-formed, instantly recognisable sound, and an authority to rival that of his German contemporary and counterpart, Peter Brötzmann. 

Arashi—with Johan Berthling (Tape, Fire!) and Paal Nilssen-Love (The Thing, Large Unit)—is one of Sakata’s potent vehicles: their superb, intense and impassioned, self-titled debut album Arashi (2014, Trost) more than lived up to its title (Storm, in English). 

Semikujira (Right whale) is more subtle, with Sakata occasionally emphasising the inspirations of traditional Japanese culture. And, as with Flying Basket, Sakata’s recent date with alternative trio partners Chikamorachi (Darin Gray and Chris Corsano), plus Japanese noise-master Merzbow and Jim O’Rourke on electric guitar, it’s more multi-hued than free jazz initiates might expect. 

The short lead cut, “Snowing on the Temple Garden”, has Nilssen-Love sounding small bells and brushing metallic percussion, while Berthling creates a soft-but-taut contrabass shimmer, and Sakata, on clarinet, reveals his most tenderly melodic aspect. 

A sprung segue into “Blow of Humpback Whale” (7:34) then launches a chewier alto sax solo from Sakata with kinetic accompaniment – a fine, freewheeling, and implicitly melodic improvisation, and by far the album’s most predictable cut. 

This sets us up nicely for Sakata’s inimitable vocal performance on “Saitaro-Bushi (Atlantis Version)” (15:35) – a composition based on a Japanese traditional that Sakata last recorded in 2001 for Fisherman’s.com, accompanied by longstanding champion Bill Laswell, Hamid Drake and Pete Cosey, the guitarist on Miles Davis’ sessions of the Agharta/Pangaea era. 

The lyrics to this fisherman’s song celebrate a hard-won haul, and pay tribute to lives lost in the pursuit. Nilssen-Love gives Sakata’s ceremonial/theatrical vocal performance a sinuous, undulating percussion backing – a dragon-dance of combustible dynamics, from which Berthling extracts a bassline that’s positively thrumming by the time Sakata rips back in on rasping alto sax. Nilssen-Love’s drumming never loses its ritualistic rhythm feel, and he gets a fine solo passage before the piece burns down to embers, ending with gongs sounding softly over slowly drawn bowed bass. 

There are more vocal exhortations from Sakata on the brief (3:13) “Again Sheep Said “Wolf Is Coming””, where he sounds suitably deranged and alarmist in the face of a turbulent rhythmic retort.  The clarity of the leader’s solo alto sax intro to “Semikujira” (17:43), accompanied only by rhythmic tapping on a tight drumhead, is a pleasing surprise, and Berthling’s bass insinuates a relaxed, meandering feel into the early elaboration of what then flares into an intense free jazz workout, a clear-cut snare drum solo, and more sweet solo alto with minimal accompaniment, slowly ratcheting back into taut, texturally dynamic three-way improvisation, in which Berthling’s bass assumes the animating pulse. 

Sakata certainly puts his own stamp on the session, but the support he gets from Berthling and Nilssen-Love is exemplary, and the result is a nuanced set that bears repeated listening. Tim Owen, Dalston Sound
 
Art by Sagaki Keita

Arashi
Self-Titled (Trost Records, 2014)

For years, I knew the Japanese saxophonist Akira Sakata only from his guest turn on Last Exit’s “Needles-Balls”, a short track on their 1986 recording The Noise Of Trouble (Live In Tokyo), and, more substantially, from the next year’s studio album Mooko, a trio date with Last Exit’s Bill Laswell and Ronald Shannon Jackson. With the exception of a 1984 tour of Uzbekistan, Mongolia and China with a 14-piece band, again involving Laswell, Sakata remained off-radar, in the UK at least, until 2009, when the first of his recordings with Darin Gray and Chris Corsano, a.k.a. Chikamorachi, were released, and, better yet, he played for the first time at London’s Cafe Oto. 

Now nearing his seventh decade, the saxophonist remains a potent musical force, and this new trio with Johan Berthling (Tape, Fire!) and Paal Nilssen-Love (The Thing, Large Unit) is a powerful distillation of that potency. Arashi (Trost) was recorded in 2013 in a Stockholm studio. Its title translates as Storm. Fair warning. 

Nilssen-Love kicks the title track into insistent life, and Sakata joins, unspooling coiling, tendril licks at a slightly slower tempo, holding the rhythmist in check. It’s the emphatically punchy entry of Johan Berthling’s bass (he’s credited only with double bass, but here it sounds electric) that really lights the touch paper, with Sakata as skyrocket leaving scorched bass and drums tumbling through turbulence in his wake. For the next five minutes Sakata is exhortatory, blowing raw, high-pitch note-streams bolstered by steely seams of tensile melody. Then for a couple of minutes he sits out, and though his companions don’t slacken, the listener BREATHES, only for Sakata to pitch right back in on a rare low-register note, then full-bore to the end at 12:26, where a controlled emergency stop ends in a percussive pile-up, and Sakata exclaiming “Yeaaah”. 

At 6:43, “Ondo No Huna-Uta” (Rower’s Song of Ondo) is half the length of the other three pieces. It begins with the sounding of gongs, and a supple bass/drum rumble commencing behind a guttural vocal from Sakata that evolves into a remarkable vocal performance that’s part song, part chant, part imprecation. The rhythm is looser though no less intense than that of the title track. A breakdown at the end leaves space for a coda of gongs and drums. 

“Dora” is relatively restrained, but maintains the album’s intensity. Berthling’s robustly thrumming contrabass takes the strain of Sakata’s renewed attack, which is just as impassioned as on “Arashi”, if a tad more elastic. Pliability yields some of the characteristic inflections that clearly individuate his alto sound, imbuing it with humanity. Again he lays out at midpoint, allowing Berthling and Nilssen-Love to flex, and this time they drop their intensity perceptibly. Sakata follows their lead, becoming not less loquacious but, momentarily, less pressurised. The conclusion is beautifully controlled and modulated, via a diminuendo in which Sakata drops out, Berthling plays a subsiding pulse, and Nilssen-Love sounds a wash of bells and cymbals. 

Sakata switches to clarinet for “Fukushima No Ima” (Fukushima Now), which he opens quietly, solo, focused on melodic development, effortlessly incorporating into his lyrical flow the first rhythmic notion proposed by Berthling. Nilssen-Love is a restrained but more insistent presence, probing his full kit with brushes. This instant composition’s firming-up follows Sakata’s lead, with percussion falling away behind a contrabass perambulation, and Sakata allowed space to soliloquise. There’s an implicit swing feel behind the tune’s last-half development, and again the performance’s intensity is beautifully modulated, so as to retain much of the session’s intensity. 

At the finale, Sakata returns to vocalising, as if engaged in a personal ritual, and this prompts a dramatically spirited response, again leavened with restraint, with bass and drums easing to rest. Proceedings end with the crisp sounding of finger cymbals. 

This is a superb set, a rounded performance, satisfyingly intense and perfectly moderated. The trio’s sound has been beautifully captured, and the whole is nicely presented by Trost (the CD edition comes in a sturdy gatefold card sleeve, with art by Sagaki Keita). If you don’t know Sakata already, get in. — Tim Owen, Dalston Sound


This is a trio of like-minded, fearless musicians who like their music hot, steamy and climatic and would not settle for less than that. The Scandinavian rhythm section of prolific Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, member of the power trio The Thing and Swedish double bassist Johan Berthling, member of the like-minded trio Fire! (both feature Swedish sax titan Mats Gustafsson), collaborated before in the trio of Swedish pianist Sten Sandell. 

Now these two Vikings team for a new trio with Japanese samurai sax player Akira Sakata, one of influential figures of the Japanese free jazz scene since the seventies, a close collaborator of another sax titan Peter Brötzmann and guitarist and sound sculptor Jim O'Rourke, who collaborated live before with The Thing and recorded with Nilssen- Love (The Cliff of Time, PNL, 2014). 

The trio debut album was recorded in Stockholm on July 2013. Its energetic spirit was captured beautifully by saxophonist Jonas Kullhammar, who mixed and mastered the album. It begins with a climatic storm, literally, as the title piece means storm in Japanese. A muscular, fast and highly intense onslaught of all three with no second to hesitate or rest, always on the verge of losing control over this explosive sonic eruption, with Nilssen-Love in top form charging this uncompromising typhoon with dense, polyrhythmic pulse. But this trio is more versatile as the three demonstrate on the following "Ondo No Huna-Uta (Rower' Song of Ondo}." Sakata recites this song in a hoarse voice and possessed manner, it alternates between deep, melancholic pathos and a comic side, mumbling stream-of-thought gibberish, both sound as an organic extension of the other, while Berthling and Nilssen-Love embrace his manic performances in irreverent, ceremonial rhythms. 

"Dora" offers another side of this trio, a fiery free jazz attack rooted in the rich legacy of this genre. Sakata leads with a charismatic solo, developing the theme with an impressive command and focused articulation, enjoying the high-octane rhythm section that keeps pushing his sax flights to higher and higher sonic terrains. The trio conclude with a touching elegy to the Japanese town Fukushima that suffered a nuclear disaster in 2011. Sakata leads again with a warm and soulful clarinet solo. Berthling and Nilssen-Love patiently intensify the contemplative spirit of this piece with spare, imaginative playing until the three unite again for a stormy, ceremonial coda with Sakata chanting a farewell. 

This trio plans a Japanese tour this fall, hopefully, will yield more releases by these brilliant and powerful musicians. — Eyal Hareuveni, All About Jazz


Die drei fackeln nicht lang und legen mit dem titelgebenden Sturm los, der zwölf Minuten lang die Unsinnigkeit aus deinem Leben bläst. Ich gebe ungern zu, dass Sakata für mich bislang kein Haushaltsname war. Das hat sich kürzlich durch die fantastische Band Chikamorachi mit Jim O'Rourke und Chris Corsano und einem wohl schon jetzt legendären Auftritt beim Brötzmann-»Unlimited« in Wels geändert. Auch hier zeigt der 1945 geborene Saxophonist, warum nicht nur auf seinem Haupt kein Gras mehr wächst. In diesem Kopf ist einfach zu viel zu schnell los und kein Platz für Klischees. Und dann singt er. Das Magazin »Freistil« meint, seine gutturalen Vocals seien vom No-Theater beeinflusst, ich dachte spontan an die unheimlichen Wälder rund um den Fuji. Das Ondo im Songtitel übersetzt Wiki mit »sound head« - passt auch gut. Die Rhythmusachse dampft über Siedepunkt. Die ohnehin breite Ausdruckspalette wird zum Schluss mit »Fukushima Now« elegisch erweitert, Sakata zeigt hier auch auf der Klarinette seine Meisterschaft. Dass Paal Nilssen-Love derzeit ziemlich ausufernd auf Höchstlevel agiert, dürfte skug-Lesern bekannt sein. Bei diesem von ihm ins Leben gerufenen Trio können wir nur hoffen, dass er Zeit für eine Weiterführung findet.  — David Mochida Krispel, Skug


"Arashi" to właściwie potok muzycznej wściekłości. Ale to także znakomita muzyka. Będąca jednak ciągłym nieprzerwanym zwarciem, gdzie stający obok siebie partnerzy, uzbrojeni tylko w instrumenty, próbują powalić partnerów siłą dźwiękowego rażenia niczym uderzeniami pięści - ale wyprowadzanymi bez zmęczenia, raz za razem, nieprzerwanie. Z furią i wściekłością.

Akira Sakata to właściwie postać-legenda. Aktywny na freejazzowej, nie tylko japońskiej, scenie od późnych lat sześćdziesiątych ubiegłego wieku, od 1972 roku członek tria Yosuke Yamashity, z którym to zjeździł cały świat grając na najważniejszych jazzowych festiwal i w prestiżowych klubach tak w Japonii, jak i w Ameryce czy Europie. Z wykształcenia jest biologiem morskim, ale z zamiłowania i praktyki - saksofonistą, kompozytorem, improwizatorem, czasem wokalistą i animatorem życia muzycznego też. W latach osiemdziesiątych nieco zapomniany, bliżej związał się ze światem nowojorskiej awangardy, gdy muzycy tacy jak Bill Laswell czy John Zorn odkryli japońską scenę awangardową. Wtedy też, dzięki Laswellowi i Brotzmannowi, dołączył do składu kwartetu Last Exit nagrywając z nim "Noise of Trouble: Last Exit in Tokyo". Od końca lat dziewięćdziesiątych - znów dzięki odnowionej współpracy z Peterem Brotzmannem często pojawia się w najrozmaitszych konfiguracjach z muzykami ze Skandynawii i Stanów.

Trio to nie jest pierwszym takim składem - w Polsce mieliśmy okazję gościć Sakatę z Darinem Graya i Crisem Corsano. Trio z amerykanami było jednak nieco odmiennie zbudowane, nie miało tej mocy, co granie z Paalem Nilssem-Love, perkusistą The Thing i Chicago Tentet oraz Johanem Berthlingiem, basistą znakomitego Fire!. To nie odgrywanie komponowanych motywów, to nie jest swobodna improwizacja, to strumień świadomości, korzystanie z instrumentów by wyrzucić z siebie wrzask furii, ale i uniesienie miłosnego spełnienia. Bo muzyka Sakaty nie niesie ze sobą wcale tak negatywnego i mrocznego kontekstu, jak granie choćby Petera Brotzmanna. Jest bardziej niż niemieckiego muzyka świetliste. A gdy zwalnia, staje się skupione, niemal metafizyczne. Tak jest w ostatnim na płycie utworze, będącym pamięcią o Fukushimie - o katastrofie i jej ofiarach.
 
W moim odczuciu ta skandynawsko-japońska kooperacja to jedno z najważniejszych nagrań minionego już roku. Koniecznie! — Marcin Jachnik, Multikulti Project

Furia transgenerazionale e intercontinentale quella condivisa dal sassofonista giapponese Akira Sakata (70 anni a febbraio) con Johan Berthling e Paal Nilssen-Love, basso e batteria che chi conosce un po' le meraviglie del jazz scandinavo ormai ha imparato a considerare "di famiglia."

Figura storica del free nipponico, Sakata è musicista che può piacere o meno, ma cui non si può, pena la disonestà intellettuale, negare una adesione totale e onestissima alla pratica dell'improvvisazione, al flusso incontenibile e irrefrenabile di sentimenti in musica che spingono urlando le pareti delle convenzioni per disegnare nuovi ambiti di condivisione.

Accade anche in questo lavoro registrato a Stoccolma. Arashi vuol dire tempesta e come una tempesta nasce, di quelle improvvise e avvolgenti, che inzuppano di suoni. Nel pezzo iniziale, omonimo, il sax alto è sospinto verso vette di isterica ispirazione da un eccellente lavoro della sezione ritmica. L'eloquio di Sakata è maturo, ma ancora pienamente fresco nelle intenzioni, pur richiamandosi chiaramente a pratiche e lessici cari alla New Thing.

In "Ondo No Huna-Uta" il musicista giapponese utilizza la voce con una forte teatralità tradizionale, sciamanica e forse grottesca per orecchie occidentali, certamente impressionante per forza e urgenza. Con "Dora" il trio torna a percorrere le strade di una improvvisazione ruggente, mentre la conclusiva "Fukushima No Ima" è un piccolo gioiello di lirica introspezione al clarinetto.

Spesso abbiamo del free giapponese una visione un po' stereotipata e monolitica: questo bel lavoro dimostra invece come la personalità dei singoli improvvisatori sia importante, al di là degli estremismi. E la coerenza con cui Sakata e i suoi compagni di avventura disegnano la mai conciliata trama sonora di questa "tempesta" è un tesoro da tenere stretto e non dimenticare.
Bravi all'etichetta Trost per aver dato voce a tutto questo. — Enrico Bettinello, All About Jazz

This is an excellent recording, never short of energy & extreme enthusiasm cascading at high-pressure through the storm-channel. The individual ebullitions & expressions plus their combined interaction are exceptionally gratifying in all their smouldering pandemonic battery. — Kanju, Jigokuki


For those who have been looking for a solid free jazz effort, Arashi delivers the goods. Sakata, Berthling and Love play hard and furious, but assured, and the interplay between the three is at a high level. It's like a free jazz throwdown answer to Elvin Jones' classic "Putting It Together." It gets my highest recommendation. — Stefan Wood, FreeJazzBlog


Akira Sakata ist ein verdienter Altmeister des hartnäckigen japanischen Free Jazz. Auf Arashi (mit Johan Berthling und Paal Nilssen-Love, Trost Records) hört man ihn aber nicht nur an seinem Hausinstrument, dem Altsaxofon, sondern wie auf ungefähr einem Viertel seiner zirka 100 Recordings seit den frühen Siebzigern auch als Sänger - und das ist das Allergrößte: Attila Csihar, neige deine Blume! Chuck Schuldiger, du auch! Aber Sakata hat noch ein drittes Werkzeug: die Klarinette. Komischerweise mir von Jahr zu Jahr das immer liebere Schilfrohrmundstückinstrument. Hier werden die rohen Männer immer so zärtlich - oder sprachnah. Oder vollständig verrückt. — Diedrich Diederichsen, Spex Magazin
A l'Improviste a encore ce soir l'humeur vagabonde et vous emmène à Mulhouse où s'est tenu en août dernier le Festival Météo, festival des musiques inventives d'aujourd'hui. Au menu, un authentique trio de free jazz qui réunit le souffleur Sakata Akira, le batteur Paal Nilsen Love et le contrebassiste Johan Berthling. (Enregistré le 29 août au Noumatrouff à Mulhouse) Écouter l’émission!
This is a superb set, a rounded performance, satisfyingly intense and perfectly moderated. The trio’s sound has been beautifully captured, and the whole is nicely presented by Trost (the CD edition comes in a sturdy gatefold card sleeve, with art by Sagaki Keita). If you don’t know Sakata already, get in. — Tim Owen, Dalston Sound

This is a trio of like-minded, fearless musicians who like their music hot, steamy and climatic and would not settle for less than that. — Eyal Hareuveni, All About Jazz


This is the kind of free jazz where jumping off a cliff is more about how you flap your wings than how well you succeed at flying, and where hitting ground might be preferable to floating. On Arashi, the trio of Akira Sakata, Johan Berthling and Paal Nilssen-Love offer up four tracks of serious intensity, serious fun. — Dave Summers, Birdistheworm

On “Ondo No Huna-Uta (Rower’s Song of Ondo)” Sakata does what he is also famous for: He sings. Actually, he gnarls, shouts, growls and barks, always being at the top of his voice – which is the greatest thing there is, because his voice seems to dance over Paal Nilssen-Love tumultuous attacks. If Yamatsuka Eye and Mike Patton listen to this piece they will get down on their knees. — Martin Schray, FreeJazzBlog

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Tags: Arashi, Arashi Trio, Akira Sakata, Johan Berthling, Paal Nilssen-Love, Trost Records
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Kato Bookbird

Arashi to the artist roster

Pleased to welcome Arashi to Kato Bookbird's roster! Arashi (Akira Sakata, Johan Berthling, Paal Nilssen-Love) had it's debut during Molde Jazzfestival in July 2013 and entered the studio just a few days later to record the album "Arashi," released on Trost Records on both CD and vinyl. The music is improvised and of high energy. All three players are known for their stamina and will to push themselves and the music beyond traditional boundaries. Read more..

Jan 07, 2016  |  Share: