Moments of Falling Petals

by Tetuzi Akiyama, Edén Carrasco, Leonel Kaplan

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"The good old, bad old conservatory-trained composer in me is more drawn, I'll admit, to Moments Of Falling Petals, which finds Captain Akiyama back on acoustic guitar in the world of recognisable, even singable (yes!) pitches for a delicate and elegantly understated three-way conversation with alto saxophonist Éden Carrasco and trumpeter Leonel Kaplan. This could be a clue as to why I happen to find Akiyama such an intriguing musician – returning once again to the less-is-more world of Bar Aoyama and Off Site where he first made a name for himself, I'm struck by what I once described elsewhere (referring to an Arthur Doyle album, of all things) as "relaxed intensity". There were only two ways out of Off Site: either by playing even less – the Taku Sugimoto solution – or by playing more, which was Akiyama's strategy. (Toshi Nakamura can't decide which way to go, which is fine by me too..). There's an extraordinary tension to Sugimoto's work, both improvised and composed – I well recall him sweating, physically suffering to place those oh so few notes in just the right place in a concert with Radu Malfatti here a while back – while Akiyama in concert has never seemed to me to be in the throes of such an existential crisis. Can music be intense without necessarily being tense? I'd say it can, and Akiyama is a good example. Pursuing the comparison for a while, that Connors / Licht duo once more comes to mind, with Taku playing Connors, agonising over each sound, while Akiyama sits back (Licht positively slumps back) and lets the notes come – not that there are many more of them here than there used to be on echt Akiyama outings like Relator, or his wonderful duos with Jozef van Wissem, Proletarian Drift and Hymn for a Fallen Angel. There's a real sense of tonal – not in the traditional sense of course – interplay in this 33-minute piece, with Akiyama's delicate chordal threads and micro-melodies drawing Carrasco and Kaplan back into real pitch play (rare these days, that), which counterpoints their more "extended" techniques to great effect. It's glorious stuff, and strongly recommended. Same goes for the other two too – but you may want to prepare a secret tunnel out of your apartment if you want to play Omni at the volume it deserves"

Dan Warburton, París Transatlantic

credits

released January 1, 2009

Tetuzi Akiyama (acoustic guitar)
Edén Carrasco (alto sax)
Leonel Kaplan (trumpet)

Live recorded at Sala Azucena Carmona, Real Teatro, Córdoba, Argentina - September 24th 2008.

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Leonel Kaplan Buenos Aires, Argentina

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