Aki Takase is making a real burden for herself with this the latest in her hopefully ongoing series of Intakt releases. With every successive one it's not just a simple matter of the quality going up but rather a matter of different facets of her ability being revealed. As these releases have all been documents of duos, the effect is almost rhetorical, as if she's intent on making a case for that sparse setting and what can be achieved in it.
From the first notes on, it's clear that Aki Takase has a great feel for Monk's music (partner Alex Schlippenbach shares her affinity). Takase's confident pianistics are outstanding throughout. Although just four of the ten numbers are from Thelonious' pen, the session itself is somehow permeated in Monk.
David Murray would seem to be a logical choice for a Charlie Rouse replacement, if Monk were alive today. He has always been a strong player with an infinite amount of energy and imagination. His musical contributions on numerous projects are always an added bonus. His tenor and bass clarinet work on this album are typical Murray, full of zest and spunk, probing, daring, and true to the roots melodic.
Saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and pianist Aki Takase initially performed together at Jazzfest Berlin in 2016, and they turned that encounter into ongoing spirited dialogues three years later for theirs first duo disc. As with Takase`s recent solo album, Hokusai, and Laubrock's small group albums, they unravel a series of sudden twists throughout a set of brief compositions. Serious technique support that playfulness here, as does a warm mutual empathy.
BBE Music presents J Jazz volume 3, the latest in its definitive compilation series exploring the finest modern jazz from Japan.
I really love the piano trio,” says Aki Takase, with a passion that mirrors her playing. “But not the old idea, where the pianist is king, and the bassist and the drummer are just sidemen. We are equal.” Indeed, all three musicians are in focus in the trio AUGE: bassist Christian Weber and drummer Michael Griener are among the most original virtuosos of their instruments…”