TON-KLAMI — Paramggod (review)

TON-KLAMI — Paramggod album cover Album · 1995 · Avant-Garde Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
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.
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