Morioka Now 4 “Still, Osamu Kanno! (upper) ”
<Tom Kora, a little>
Perhaps, some people seem to call or read Osamu Kanno as “Shu Kannno”, so I must rewrite Osamu Kanno is right. It’s no wrong because Kanno himself says so. Well, it’s interesting if he makes wrong. In fact, although I’d like to introduce pieces heard or written from Kanno himself or the paragraph for his exhibition, now I’d like to introduce mainly the free jazz oriented quartet or trio since 1995. Kanno himself talked about sessions with a lot of musicians or invitations to Japan in “Pink head” one of his many works (his most works are comics, but only this is an essay). Among them, person I was involved in and Kanno also collaborated was Peter Kowald and Tom Cora.
As I wrote about Tom before, so it will duplicate, but this two person were already the deceased. I’d like to tell a lot of people to recall their activity. US cellist Tom Cora was a versatile guy who was a member of Skeleton Crew with Fred Frith and Zeena Parkins. Because I lived with him about a week when he stayed in Japan himself only, I was more sad than usual report of someone’s death when I heard he was dead. I talked much various topics with him. Among them there were silly kidding, about the support for Cuba or orthodontic treatment.“The hat shoes” with Charles Hayward, a drummer of This Heat and Tom’s wife Catherine Jauniaux was also interesting, and such German rock band ”Das Pferd“ was cool. I remember Tom often listened to Gospel group “Golden gate quartet”.
Although a cellist Gaspar Claus who I met at Mitaka “Ongaku no jikan” in Jan. 2014 had much interest about Tom, I wonder listeners reevaluate a path of his performances or activities. It may be natural that Gaspar had an interest about Tom in similar position, because not only Gaspar plays same instruments, but also his activities has been also much various and he’s often collaborated with Japanese. Although I have a recording by Tom, Ken’ichi Takeda and me in Hachinohe (the town of Aomori prefecture), I guess it will
be shelved for a long time.
<About Peter Kowald and one local trio>
Peter Kowald was one of the founder of FMP and had various personal relationship for a very long time. His bass was so massive and as if it sunk to sound strictly and solely. Although it was too little for solo recordings , I was really impressive when I listened to his sound directly. When I listened to his sound, it wasn’t strange that he had an interest about Zen, and I knew many people tried Zen in German. He come to Japan to enter a Zen temple. I think the gig in Morioka was just before it. A jazz critic Mr.Soejima come with him, he organized the gig which comprised of screening a documentary film about Males Jazz festival, solo of Kowald and collaboration with local performers.
He invited not only Osamu Kanno and me, but also improvisation trio around Morioka as local acts. Their name was Kururu (I don’t know the origin, but it’s cute. Keroro sergeant didn’t exist still yet.). They were seemed to be highly fascinated by ECM, it was so obvious that the guitarist was influenced by Pat Metheny, the basist was influenced by Eberhard Weber, the percussionist was influenced by Edward Vesala.
Where I got to know them was the project called ”Public practice of Improvisation” I organized it once in two weeks those days. They were so quiet, and put an emphasis on oneness by three. So, on the contrary, they weren’t active to collaborate with other people, I had an impression that they finished to be searching the sound each other on the surface if they did. It was interesting for me that such shy people play improvisation. Because I think if one plays improvisation, most of the performers are such person who is open minded or actively exchange at my direction .
<Morioka gig by Kowald>
I talked them about the gig project of Kowald, they wanted to participate. But, they said they want to have the time to play by only themselves. So, I made such timetable. However, honestly, Kururu played no tense, closed improvisation over limit time. Although it happens sometimes, it’s not good for main guests and the audience tha opening acts play too long (In case of Arkhangel'sk!). I had some such experiences, so I’ve said to opening acts not to do that.
It opened at 6:30PM, in first a movie was screened for an hour, then solo by Kowald for an hour, so when Kururu finished to play was already over 9PM. The audience from far away already started to prepare for leaving. And I cut the time to 10 minutes for guitar duo by Kanno and me, finally we played with Kowald. I felt ” It’s nice! ” because we made a good start unexpectedly. I exchanged the guitar for the sax, and the percussionist of Kururu beat like jazz. Somewhat I was excited like free jazz way. Groove by Kowald was amazing. The percussionist of Kururu was also great.
I oddly felt relax and gave the solo part to Kanno’s trumpet and Kururu’s guitar. I was on my mind that he often used guitar synthe like Metheny. Duo by Kururu’s bassist and Kowald was good. But, I forgot that Osamu Kanno was person who tends to prolong the session, Finally, it happened extension between Kururu and Kanno, this final set was continuing about 50 minutes, then the time the gig finished was 10PM. The audience were very few.
It was different from the club people who spend slowly until morning. I was surprised the audience can bear without having something eat or drink. Guys of Kururu went to home after tidying something up in the brink of an eye. I can’t remember how was the close. I forget whether I got the contact after that. Well, Kowald had annoyed. He couldn’t do sitting with crossed legs for a long time. Maybe he said he had a back pain. Although he had clothing dyed with an ink-cake and had a Japanese cushion for Zazen (=sitting style of Zen), it was said that he couldn’t bear for a few days even though entering the mountain area, then he come down. What a pity. But, it’s alright, I think playing the bass is directly zen for him.
<In first, fake free jazz>
Although I wrote about Hiroto Sato before, he was very passionate and a hot-blood free jazz oriented drummer. I introduced him to Mr.Kanno, it seemed that they got along each other. Although I participated in Hoya Sun Vice those days, I didn’t know the reason (Daisuke Kamata made it? That is Kanno and Kamata was in the same working place!), Hoya Sun Vice and duo by Kanno and Sato would perform in the same gig. Besides, it was the opening act of Ruins.
Osamu Kanno mainly played the piano at that time. Although I can’t remember how he played, duo by Kanno/Sato always played at a heat. We, Hoya Sun Vice had already decided songs to play, so we played in full of energy because the opening act of ruling Ruins (Hoya sun vice played as the opening act of Boredoms or Merzbow.).After a time, one day Osamu Kanno called me suddenly.
“ Well, I would make free jazz quartet, so please participate in.”
“Oh? Who are members?”
“ Kin-chan(me), Mr. Sato, and I would choose someone who played the bass”
“ Then, I would join Nakajima as the bassist because he had enough time.”
“Who is that?”
“He is my classmate from junior high school, he was in Tokyo and performed, he come back to Morioka.”
“Is that alright if he plays free jazz?”
“And, I’ve already decide the band name.”
“Bell Avedon. Is that nice?”
“What is that?”
I heard from him after that, it was a medicine for frequent urination. I couldn’t understand why was that. I guess it stimulated the language sense of Kanno. He is familiar with Waka (one of old poem styles in Japan). Although Tatsuo Nakajima I recommend as the bassist was a salesman at the big company in Tokyo, he made up his mind to enter the Sri Lanka’s temple to train about 2 years. So, he knows Theravada Buddhism well. He had an opinion about religion, science or social conditions, computers and audio and so on. Serious man.
Of course, he listened to music widely, he made the beginning I listened various music like now. We didn’t meet for some time, but we send a mail each other while he stayed in Sri Lanka. And, we met sometimes after he was completely settling in Morioka, when I would perform with Yoko Sato, I supposed to join him as the bassist. But, Yoko Sato was a catholic and was also baptized, and Nakajima had own theory of atheistic Buddhism, they couldn’t continue after one practice (Exactly, by the conversation after practice). So, I invited a multiplayer Hiromichi Izumiyama a.k.a. Noizu. This trio become the first “Sotto Voce”.
Since that I had no chance to play with Nakajima, so I tried to invite him quartet called Bell Avedon. Although we enter the studio for having a bout in first, Kanno tackled with playing seriously, he already made two songs. There was serene theme, then it gradually went well. While playing that some times, Nakajima enjoyed playing.
“Well, Mr. Kanno is a great person. I didn’t listen to such piano” He spoke very highly of him, then weird name band was borm. Osamu Kanno for piano, Hiroto Sato for drum, Tatsuya Nakazima for electric bass, and I for sax (tenor and soprano), that is all. Perhaps I guess nobody had frequent urination. Maybe, we played the first gig in Dec. 95. I felt good response and I have the memory I made a lot of people I met at new year listen to the live recordings by a small cassette tape recorder I had.
<Peter Brotzmann invades!>
Next year, Atsushi Tanaka asked ”Broetzmann would come in June, because he had free time, so would you played with him in Morioka?” Broetzmann come to Morioka as ICP tentet in 1982 , after that he come again with Sabu Toyozumi in 1984. When Mr.Sabu come, I collaborated with them. A part of it was recorded in The fifth column box as movie. After that, he came as duo with Shoji Hano. And the forth times in Morioka. I suggested collaboration with Bell Avedon. Sato bought a new drum enthusiastically. Well, in that gig the opening act, Bell Avedon had played, the solo of Broetzmann finnished, then we would collaborate. Behind the drum set, Sato filled his mouth with Onigiri (=rice ball), then he poured his favourite mountain dew into mouth. After this, we were supposed to get to playing.
It was sure that everyone played seriously, but especially passionate was Sato. He always run before the gig , and he ate one Onigiri before & after the performance each. This was like a game. Although the body of Sato was sports-oriented like the lightweight class boxer, he especially fired at this day.
When he played duo with Broetzmann, Broetzmann was jumping up with joy, he bursted to blew the sax with gazing Sato. Anyhow, amazing duo. Still now, this wasn’t unveiled by recording and movie both. I didn’t see Broetzmann was such joy. Sato seemed to burn out,they hugged each other finally. I can’t help to say this was really game. But, was it alright?
(continued to later part)