Japanese saxophonist Akira Sakata and Italian pianist Giovanni Di Domenico have collaborated on an album, Iruman, which will be released by the Portuguese Mbari Música label in January 2014. We’ve got an exclusive premiere of a track, “Lotus Blossom in an Old Pond,” today.
Sakata has been recording and touring the world since the 1970s. He’s had a long and fruitful relationship with Bill Laswell, who invited him to perform at the shows that would ultimately appear on Last Exit‘s 1987 album The Noise of Trouble. The bassist also produced and played on Sakata’s 1991 album Silent Plankton, and invited him to participate in the Autonomous Zone session with Ginger Baker, Foday Musa Suso, Anton Fier and Peter Brötzmann. Laswell and Sakata worked together again in 2001, on the album Fisherman’s.com, which also featured guitarist Pete Cosey and drummer Hamid Drake. I saw Sakata live in 2004, performing with DJ Krush (whose album Jaku he appeared on).
I’m less familiar with Di Domenico, who’s in his mid-20s. Born in Italy but currently living in Brussels, he’s worked with Nate Wooley, Arve Henriksen, Chris Corsano, Jim O’Rourke, Alexandra Grimal, Tetuzi Akiyama, João Lobo and Toshimaru Nakamura, among others.
Anyway, the track is interesting—it represents the first time Sakata has recorded in duo with a pianist. It’s got less of a ritualistic quality than some of his other music, though it’s hardly straight (or even traditionally avant-garde) jazz. Stream it below.