Morioka Now 4
<Before the comeback of Osamu Kanno>
A drummer, Hiroto Sato is anyway straightforward. He never plays cheap tricks. He is beating the drum until he was satisfied. But, he wasn’t a jazz drummer basically. It was difficult to explain what it means, he isn’t conscious about jazz anyway. But, he adores Takeo Moriyama (Sato’s first idol was Ian Paice). Well, although I also can’t play jazz if I say that, I’ve adored Evan Parker.
We had a session in the studio about twice. But, something wasn’t just right. Honestly, talking to Sato, there was almost no point of contact between me and him. He liked beating the drum by solo anyway. However, he had no idea to play solo live somewhere. When I asked that reason, he answerred ”I would not spend any money for making live show.”
Exactly, no matter how small if we performed live, we would end up with eating and drinking after show. Sato highly disliked that.
“I’m alright music only. It’s okay I can beat the drum.”
“But, you needed the audience.”
“Yes. So, I loaded the drum set on my car, then I went to the top of mountain where has large street to reach there.”
“Always there is a place like a car parking. I put together my drum set there.”
“Have you played by solo using that.”
“Yes, the audience came there in some way.”
“But, they were not people who come to listen to your play.”
“I don’t care. Because I recorded a scene of beating the drum by myself with video camera.”
“Video tape recording?”
“I must watch my performance by myself. It’s no good if my performance is not cool.”
“Cool, hmm. Which performance is cool?”
“I can’t say for sure. But, I must play by cool way. “
“Why don’t you mind your sounds?”
“Well, If my performance is cool, sounds should be also great.”
Hmm, I know such thinking. His view was far from mine. But, I couldn’t deny I feel the difference from his attitude. In those days, I was really busy because I practiced as a member of Hoya Sun Vice. And then, I took unexpected offer.
<Steve Beresford comes!>
I heard Steve Beresford, UK strange talent of improvisation, would come to Japan. Person who invited him was Megura Kawase. She was a manager of Moroharu Yoshizawa. So, Steve would play duo with Mr.Yoshizawa. In fact, I and Steve were pen friend for long years. It was from about 1980, so I had got along with Steve more than ten years. I’d collected vinyl records of Incus. Among them, an album to stand out was “Teatime”. There were no tense atmosphere or sense of speed about high and low, which were commonly accompanied with improvisation in these days. It’s somehow loose and vague. He played the piano on that album.
And although Bead records was created as a successive label of Incus in mid 70’s, his interesting works were also recorded on this label. That was a quartet of Alterations. Although they recorded two albums, performance was no direction, loose, cynical and satire performance. I wonder it was too exaggerate to say I and Geso found large potential in this performance. Steve was also chosen as a member of “Company” runned by Derek Bailey. For this, he was interviewed by UK magazine, and we read it interestingly. ”I want to turn over myself by scooping up my legs.” It was almost impossible, but he was a performer to do it for real.
Instruments he played were piano, euphonium, trumpet, electric bass, toys, small electronic device, Casio tone etc. He released a solo album “Bath of surprise”. It was released from Piano label. This was a label established by David Cunningham (there was a solo album by himself). This Steve’s solo was somehow strange collections of fragments. I was very fond of it since as if it was a toy box. He didn’t get set completely. Flimsy recording by strong wow and flutter of a tape recorder in bad condition, there was performance (?) as he played in the bath actually.
Big hit album “Flying Lizards” made Cunningham famous (Please don’t mistake them for Lounge Lizards). The selling point of this record was like “Fresh sounds by such low budget.” However, whoever was challenging such thing in young age. And, he played hit songs of old R&B tunes. Like ”Money”. So old Kurt Weile’s tunes, or participation of members of “This Heat” or “New Age Steppers” were popular among enthusiast.
Beresford, Cunningham formed a trio ”General Strike” with David Toop, which played experimental dub, and they played improvisation by duo “Alaskan Window” without Cunningham. Toop was also interesting existence who researched ethnic music and the history of black music, and played improvisation by self-made instruments and so on. He involved in Max Eastley (sound sculptor, vinyl on Obscure Records of Brian Eno),and Hugh Davies (an important person of improvisation by self-made instruments, and a researcher of experimental music history). Besides of that, Toop joined in Alterlations above-mentioned.
Also the magazine ”collusion” edited & published mainly by Beresford and Toop was valuable as reference material for dub, reggae, black music in South America, and experimental music. Oh, I am extremely off track from Beresford, but I want you to know he has worked in much vast field. Besides, he was active as duo of Han Bennink or Nigel Coombes and back member of the Slits.
Although I accepted an offer from Ms. Kawase because of the joy to meet Beresford, It was Mr.Motoharu Yoshizawa together naturally. I felt uneasy slightly about that. That is, Mr.Yoshizawa was thoroughly stoic style, I had an impression that he wouldn’t diverge from the frame of jazz even if his performance was completely avant-garde. In comparison with it, Steve was vague originally. He was a kind of multi-performer. And it was like that he always started to play a trick and humor. Well, it was interesting combination by itself. But, the audience wouldn’t gather, this was already sure.
Mr. Yoshizawa was fated to Morioka a little. He had played at Jazz Café in Morioka. And, he come to co-perform two or three times by asking a woman of modern dancer in Morioka. It happened the discussion slightly. Also, he played solo performance in New year’s party of the local broadcasting station in Iwate, and he had played with Butch Mortis by duo at the gallery in Morioka. It seemed that it was easy to attract audience because of such person, but it was difficult. That is to say, because organizers themselves have an organizing ability about connection, promotion, ticket sales like above live, it didn’t mean audience come to live with an interest about music. I had no such power completely. When I invited Arkhangel'sk, I was tired and learned from experience about using an organization.
<Yoshihide Ootomo also comes!>
When I talked such thing to Ms. Kwase, she said “Well, I wondered I would ask to with someone who can attract much audience. Like Mr. Ootomo.” Yoshihide Ootomo had come to be popular in that time. Ground Zero formed with Mr. Shyuichi Chino (I want to write about him again.), performance by self made guitar or turntable were come to get attention. The first time I watched him was the concert which gathered only duo sessions in Yokohama, he was playing with Sachiko M, I remember he was beating Surdo (Latin percussion) at that time. After that, It became a hot topic that he started improvised duo ”Silanganan Ingay” with Mr. Junzi Hirose (Sax, self made instruments).
I had written the review of LP released by them, I had gone to Jazz Café ”Passé temps” in Fukushima (Here was a place Kaoru Abe had been playing solo many times. I heard recording was remained). When I heard music fans around me, they mostly said ”I want to listen to Mr. Ootomo!. “ Then, I talked to Ms. Kawase that the trio including Ootomo would be nice. I wanted to co-perform with Steve, but it was difficult if they came as trio.
When I write unnecessary addition slightly here, it was limit that I invited 3 people from Tokyo by myself within my money. Arkhangel'sk were 7 people and 2 people, so I made up an organization. Although Nihilist Spasm Band (Including Ms.Aya Oonishi) and Hijokaidan (only Jojo and Mikawa) had come, I managed to do because Jojo gave much favorable and Japan-Canada friendship association bought tickets. I will write that again.
Well, considering rock guys who had an interest about Ootomo, I decided Hoya Sun Vice as co-performer. It was debut. I added Daisuke Kamata (He who had strong desire to invite Arkhangel'sk. He was North-Korea Watcher and goods mania at that time. Now, an editor in chief of local newspaper “Morioka Times”) joined as vocalist. I had an idea that my band accompanied “ The song of praising Kim Jong Il ” which was sung by Kamata.
Kamata wasn’t sympathizer of North Korea, but he adored the dictator. However, when he has become an editor in chief now, he looks like hard for not dictating. The dictator is harder than democracy because all responsibility haunts him. Though, there is a way to shift the responsibility to someone and purge them.
Well, I completely wonder after writing up to this point. I should write about Hoya Sun Vice, and live of trio by Beresford, Yoshizawa, and Ootmo or I should write about from formation to end of free jazz quartet “Bell Avedon” centered upon Osamu Kanno. These band’s performances are abele to enjoy on ”The fifth column box” Hoya Sun Vice played as an opening act for Ruins, Boredoms, Merzobow. Bell Avedon co-performed with Peter Brotzman, Charles Gayle and so on. I think we had great experiences in both groups. I finish it now, because anyway this will be long. (cont'd)