TON-KLAMI

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Ton-Klami was an influential Japanese & South Korean free improvising band active in the 90s, and leading to the solo careers of percussionist Midori Takada, pianist Masahiko Satoh, and saxophonist Kang Tae Hwan

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TON-KLAMI Discography

TON-KLAMI albums / top albums

TON-KLAMI Paramggod album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Paramggod
Avant-Garde Jazz 1995

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TON-KLAMI In Moers album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
In Moers
Avant-Garde Jazz 1993
TON-KLAMI Prophecy Of Nue album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Prophecy Of Nue
Avant-Garde Jazz 2017

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TON-KLAMI Reviews

TON-KLAMI Paramggod

Album · 1995 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Three years after their debut at the German Moers Festival (recorded and released in Japan in 1993), the Ton-Klami trio returned to the studio to record their first (and only) studio album. The same line-up (Japanese avant-garde legend pianist Masahiko Satoh, leading Korean reedist Kang Tae Hwan and lesser known Japanese percussionist Midori Takada) are improved here on three songs with New York downtown unorthodox reedist Ned Rothenberg (on alto sax and bass clarinet).

Ton Klami generally play the same music they presented on their debut album, just here on "Paramggod" it sounds more mature with better interplay - and a much improved recorded sound. In the early stages of Japanese jazz, one of the more important (philosophical) problems was whether Japan could have its own unique take on jazz, or would they just be copying Western artists. Besides percussionist Masahiko Togashi, pianist Masahiko Satoh was one of the first Japanese artists who was trying to find a specific Japanese way of playing jazz. In the mid 70s, a lot of those experiments were quite formal, but here on this album, one can hear that Japanese (or being more correct - Far Eastern) jazz exists with no doubt. Thanks to the very original Tae Hwan and his sax improvisations (very "out", cool and dzen, at the same time being very close to Western free jazz traditions), this trio's music sounds as unique as you can only imagine, a true Asian take on free jazz. Satoh himself plays in his usual manner, combining European (German) technocratic/teutonic piano sounds with some Japanese meditative atmosphere.

Guest reedist Ned Rothenberg's participation on three compositions gives some additional attractiveness, fortunately his improvs are ascetic and fit well with the main trio's building atmospheres.

One of better Satoh albums from the 90s, it's just a pity the Ton-Klami trio didn't recorded more music after this release.

TON-KLAMI In Moers

Live album · 1993 · Avant-Garde Jazz
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snobb
After some more or less successful fusion releases and a series of neoclassical piano albums released during the late 70s and 80s, Japanese early avant-garde jazz legend Masahiko Satoh returned back to his roots in the early 90s, forming Ton-Klami trio with Korean reeds player Kang Tae Hwan and lesser known Japanese percussionist Midori Takada.

The trio's debut album is their live recordings from the Moers Festival in Germany 1991, released that same year by Nippon Crown in Japan. Without a doubt, besides Satoh, the other interesting musician on this recording is Tae Hwan (playing exclusively alto sax here). Korea isn't a jazz friendly country even now, in the early 90s there were very few musicians playing jazz there at all. Reedist Kang Tae Hwan is probably the best known of them all, at least outside of the country. His sax sound is very different from any Western sax player, dry and very "out", strongly influenced by East-Asian musical traditions and Buddhist culture. At the same time, he is a real free jazz musician without overt sounds from other music.

Masahiko Satoh is known for his cold, technical piano playing. Here on this album he is even more formal, combining "teutonic" free improvisation with academic musicianship. Percussionist Midori Takada is obviously in the supporting role to the two leaders, who don't always interplay successfully. It's even more strange that here in this live recording, in fact all concert long, Satoh and Tae Kwan exchange with each other on solos almost without having a common ground for their music.

A few years later this trio will release their next album, a studio one this time, with guest New York reedist Ned Rothenberg, who demonstrates a much better communication and really better realized potential. Still, on "In Moers", they demonstrate some raw ideas more than real musicianship.

For Tae Kwan though, this collaboration was an important step towards his quite successful international solo career.

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