Having posted the other day about The Friction Brothers, I decided to give one of their CDs a spin last night. It is truly and amazing CD. The sounds are almost other-worldly. I do wonder, however, if I should include it in the jazz section or not. The music is more of a soundscape than it is traditional songs. But it is certainly improvisational, which I think is a key mark of a lot of jazz music. It'd be hard for these guys not to improvise, given that they are using "instruments" that are not all that predictable: hot watter kettles screeching on dry ice, bullet shaped vibrators bouncing around on top of snare drums, etc.
Anyhow, on to the whole point of making this post. If I am going to list The Friction Brothers in the Jazz section, then I can also list Tatsuya Nakatani in the Jazz section. But I should point out that I do so only because of the improvisational and experimental aspects of his music. Like The Friction Brothers, his music is about soundscapes, not traditional song structures. However, every sound he makes is purely acoustic (= non-electrically generated). Well, at least when I saw him perform, it was all acoustic. He is a percussionist, who in addition to a couple of normal drums, also uses singing bowls. But his trademark contribution to the world of percussion is his use of a bow on cymbals and gongs. The sounds he can get with the bow are amazing.
I am going to post links to a video and the the CD Baby website, where you can hear excerpts from his Abiogenesis CD. This CD is definitely one of the best sounding CDs I own. It is also great for showing off your sub, as the gongs he uses really get down low. The youtube video doesn't capture the low freqs very well, but the excerpts on CD Baby do. As I said, I think that the Abiogenesis CD is one of the best I own in terms of sound quality. I also think it is one of the best I own in terms of imagination and sound experimentation. If you want to listen to something that takes you on a bunch of miniature, dream-like journeys, then this CD is for you.
The audio excerpts: