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Piano Solo


Recorded live at London's Café OTO in March 2009 during Otomo Yoshihide's first residency here. This is one of only a handful of solo piano performances Otomo has given where he uses the instrument as a control matrix for harmonically-rich feedback tones and devastating clusters of complex noise. First run of 500 pressed at Record Industry in The Netherlands on high-quality heavyweight vinyl. Three-color screenprinted sleeve designed by Paul Abbott and printed by Pat at Heavyrock Screenprinting on archival-quality card. Mastered and cut by Andreas "Lupo" Lubich at 45rpm. Otomo Yoshihide is one of the most important musicians of the Japanese underground/avant-garde. He moves between free jazz, noise, improvisation, composition, and the unclassifiable with a generosity that opens up the possibilities for expression in all of the constellations with which he's involved. After the earthquake/tsunami struck his native Fukushima in early 2011, Otomo played very little outside of Japan, dedicating a considerable amount of energy to the relief efforts there, including the annual international Project Fukushima concerts. He played at Café OTO in 2013 for two stunning multi-day residencies, including a revision of the remarkable piano solo captured on this LP. Influenced by his father, an engineer, Otomo began making electrical devices such as a radio and an electronic oscillator in his early teens, and his first experience of creating music was by making sound collages using open-reel tape recorders while still in junior high school. Soon after entering high school, he formed a band which played rock and jazz, with Otomo on guitar. It wasn't long, however, before he became a free-jazz aficionado, listening to artists like Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy and Derek Bailey; and hearing music, both on disk and at concerts, by Japanese free jazz artists including the great alto sax player Kaoru Abe and guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi. In 1990, Otomo started what was to become Ground Zero. Until it disbanded in March 1998, the band was at the core of his musical creativity, while it underwent several changes in style and membership. Since Ground Zero, Otomo has embraced minimal improvisation, film music and the jazz/big-band conceptions of his new jazz quartet/quintet/orchestra.