Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet and Flute of Nobuyasu Furuya

You can depend upon Clean Feed Records consistently to come up with interesting releases in the advanced free improv jazz genre. That doesn't mean you've heard of everybody on the label. That's a good thing because it means they are offering up some fresh faces to the international scene and that's how growth happens in music. One of the ways, at least.

Nobuyasu Furuya. There's a new name to me. He is a Japanese expat residing in Portugal. He's studied Ottoman classical music. He plays vibrantly. There's his new album Bendowa (Clean Feed). It's a trio affair with Hernani Faustino on bass and Gabriel Ferrandini on drums. They do a fine job.

Nobuyasu has a good sense of linear drama and absolute control over his sound. Some people say he sounds like Archie Shepp on tenor. Well, there IS that sort of near-speech inflection he sometimes evokes. But there's a little Ayler there too. Maybe some Dolphy as well. On flute he has a shakuhachi like purity. His bass clarinet is snaky. To me though, it's his dramatic sense of space, of sound and silence, of color and darkness that stands out. The phrasing lengths, the pauses and the trajectory of his drive show a great sensibility.

There is plenty of good music on Bendowa. It tends more towards the exploratory than the frantic. But there is plenty of energy to be had as well. Here is a player to watch. Or rather to listen to. This CD will give improv enthusiasts a good adventure. I would say to you "go get it" if you are looking for a different sort of free player.

By the way, for those internet folks who mention me (and that's nice, thanks) my name is GREGO, it is not GRECO. And my last name is EDWARDS, middle name APPLEGATE. I personally am not called GAPPLEGATE. And I am not el Greco; I am el Grego. I may paint, but el Greco I ain't! Whatever. . . just want to get the record straight. (Is that a pun?)

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