Akira Sakata (JAP)- alto saxophone, bb clarinet, voice
Johan Berthling (SWE)- double bass
Paal Nilssen-Love (NOR)- drums & percussion
Arashi means “storm” in Japanese, and this word is indeed apt to describe the ultrapowerful music of this trio put together by the legendary saxophonist and clarinetist Akira Sakata. Accompanied here by a diabolical, Nordic rhythm, Sakata is capable of unleashing free sparkling illuminations but also more intimate, always personal, atmospheres. Arashi alternates thunderstorms in the form of rapid and intense free assaults, with moments of pure contemplation (the calm after the storm?) where Akira Sakata uses a warm and moving clarinet, or some powerful throat singing, by which we are instantly transported.
Arashi had its debut during Molde Jazzfestival in July 2013. Since then, the trio has made two albums together — 2014’s Self-Titled debut and 2016’s “Semikujira,” — both released on CD and Vinyl by Trost Records in Austria. After three successful tours of Europe and Japan in 2015-6, Arashi is hitting the road again this fall with a tour of Japan in September 2017, and a tour of Europe in spring 2018 between 19. – 29 April.
The Free Jazz Collective describes Arashi’s second release as “a free jazz throwdown answer to Elvin Jones’ classic Putting It Together. It gets my highest recommendation.” and in an album review by Dalston Sound — Tim Owen writes — “This is a superb set, a rounded performance, satisfyingly intense and perfectly moderated. The trio’s sound has been beautifully captured, and the whole is nicely presented by Trost (the CD edition comes in a sturdy gatefold card sleeve, with art by Sagaki Keita). If you don’t know Sakata already, get in.”
Akira Sakata, now at the age of 71, represents the hard-core of Japanese Free Jazz, and has a reputation of never leaving the stage dry. Through the work with pianist Yosuke Yamashita and drummer Takeo Moriyama, he has toured throughout the whole of Europe and United States. Now, with a new trio, Europe and elsewhere will be able to experience the strength of Japanese Free Jazz. www.akira-sakata.com/
Johan Berthling has for many years established himself as a powerful player through bands like Fire!, Fire! Orchestra, Nacka Forum, Sten Sandell Trio and Tape. He is also one of the founders of the Swedish Label Häpna.www.johanberthling.com/
Paal Nilssen-Love has stated his position as one of the most profiled drummers in Europe today. He has made numberless performances at festivals and clubs all over the world and participated on more than 300 recordings. He curates two annual festivals –
All Ears & Blow Out and runs his own label PNL Records. www.paalnilssen-love.com/