RYOKO ONO — Undine

Jazz music community with review and forums

RYOKO ONO - Undine cover
3.50 | 3 ratings | 2 reviews
Buy this album from MMA partners

Album · 2013

Filed under Eclectic Fusion


1. genie-Sylph (2:26)
2. esoteric (3:29)
3. hacker (0:20)
4. hologram (1:44)
5. dabbler (2:53)
6. piano phase (4:42)
7. birds (1:43)
8. noodle maffler (0:57)
9. eager beaver (2:52)
10. morphing (5:37)
11.fluffy (1:47)
12. tarkus (14:59)
13. genie-Undine (1:59)

Total Time 42:08


- Ryoko Ono / alto sax, soprano sax, flute, vocals, keyboards, mouthpiece, hoses
- Sayaka Shiraki / vocals(on 7)
- Tatsuya Yoshida / drums (on 12)
- Yuzumi Tanimukai / voice (on 13)

About this release

doubtmusic / dms-145

Thanks to kazuhiro for the addition and snobb for the updates


More places to buy metal & RYOKO ONO music

  • CDUniverse - Specializing in the sale of domestic and imported music CDs and Imports


Specialists/collaborators reviews

“Undine” is the latest release from virtuoso avant-garde saxophonist Ryoko Ono, and what a tour-de-force it is. Some may be familiar with Ono as part of the highly talented aural onslaught known as Sax Ruins. In fact, her cohort in Ruins, drummer Tatsuya Yoshida is on hand for some very Sax Ruins styled numbers on here too.

Ono’s solo numbers present an interesting variety. A couple cuts keep up a constant drone of notes and show off her circular breathing technique, a favorite with modern extended technique saxophonists. Her rendition of Terry Riley’s “Piano Phase” is sublime and could have gone on for much longer. “Birds” presents a mish-mash of Charlie Parker lines doubled with altered saxes and vocoders and backed by bird noises, its so clever and adorable you could give it a hug.

Most of the rest of this CD consists of Ono and Yoshida’s insanely intense modern big band that they create through multi-tracking Ono’s various woodwind instruments. Together they create some short drumnbass cuts as well as this CD’s centerpiece, a 15 minute version of Emerson Lake and Palmer’s “Tarkus”, …that’s right, that “Tarkus”. I’m sure that most think that a modern punk-jazz big band playing ELP sounds like a disaster, but this one really works. There was always a strong big band flavor to ELP’s music, with traces of Don Ellis, Stan Kenton and Ellington running through their recorded history, the end result is that their music fits very naturally to this medium. The Ono-Yoshida big band sound is like no one else, in their hands this old ELP warhorse takes off at insanely fast tempos that sound like Squarepusher mixed with Don Ellis on 45 rpm methamphetamines. This isn’t something I would want to hear everyday, but as a fan of modern big band music, this is an exotic treat that can’t be missed.

The album closer, “genie-undine”, has no saxophones but instead features Ono’s multi-tracked vocals in a recreation of the old dreamy vocal sounds of Les Baxter. Its short, but its one of the best cuts on the CD and a great way to close things out.

Members reviews

A fine, fruitful creation by a twisted Japanese saxophonist / flutist who plays instruments like talking.

Ryoko ONO, born in Sapporo (currently playing mainly in Nagoya), is one of active Japanese female saxophone / flute players. Already renowned as a collaborator with Sax Ruins, Psyche Bugyo, or Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O., whilst recording material for some demo CD-Rs. In May 2012, Ryoko has released her solo debut work "Undine" via an independent label Doubt Music at last.

From the very beginning "genie-Sylph", we can hear one of the most challenging ambience of her. Ryoko's saxophone play might be influenced by a Zeuhl saxophone specialist Yochk'o Seffer, who can play saxophone like "talking, whispering, romping". Her emotional, a bit sensual (oh ... lol) dizzy, lazy sax sounds can be heard as Elf's (or Ryoko's) whispering definitely. As for Zeuhl, a short but funky chirps are shot via "Birds" along with irregular, confusing words, that can be perfectly harmonized with together. This superb, mystic song reminds us something leaning toward Red Balune or Koenjihyakkei.

In "Esoteric" we're able to touch some complex saxophone anchorites with simple and tidy percussive grooves. Or crazily metronomic saxophone duet can be felt in "Morphing" ... as if two Dragons tangle together and fly up with blue teardrops. Terribly quaking palpitation, followed by dreadful calmness, can be seen in "Hologram", as the title says. And another fantastic experiment (composed by Steve Reich) "Piano Phase" Ryoko has completely digested and reconstructed as a splendid sax minimalism. Yes, we can enjoy various appearances and logics via her phantasmagoric play.

And as for "Tarkus", guess everyone says this album is worth getting for only listening to this speedy stuff (nah I do think other tracks be fine too). Enjoy fully with laughing and rolling. In collaboration with Tatsuya YOSHIDA's killa drumming, Ryoko's interpretation upon "Tarkus" is that her avantgarde dancing saxophone dwarves stir such a masterpiece up into disorder with plenty of mischief and unique explosive expression, although her production should definitely be faithful to the basis of the original tune. Amazing for us that her (and Tatsuya's) aggressive sound machinegun cannot get blurred at all, a flood of massive attacks of sound / noise come via their inner space though. Knocked away by their violently quick shots, we can be drenched in masochistic comfort.

Caution ... this album is her first music bomb. Danger really, but recommended for every avantgarde-jazz and Zeuhl fan. Woohoo.

Ratings only

  • Fant0mas

Write/edit review

You must be logged in to write or edit review


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
Buy this album from our partners
Blue Train Hard Bop
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Meet Me At The Loft Post Bop
Buy this album from MMA partners
Standards and My Songs Soul Jazz
Buy this album from MMA partners
Satoko Fujii & Joe Fonda : Thread Of Light Avant-Garde Jazz
Buy this album from MMA partners
No Questions, No Answers Avant-Garde Jazz
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Certain Patterns in the Field
js· 1 day ago
[Brian Culbertson] 02 Don't Give Up 20220114
js· 2 days ago
What Will We Leave Behind
snobb· 2 days ago
Spring of Two Blue-J's -Part 1 (Live)
js· 3 days ago
Interpret It Well
snobb· 3 days ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Jazz News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us