Seigen Ono

Nekono Topia Nekono Mania

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Following his successful releases on Venture (Commes des Garcons, Vols. 1 and 2), Seigen Ono compiled this series of pieces for the aural travelogue label Made to Measure. About half of the album follows in its predecessor's footsteps, incorporating a hazily Brazilian approach combined with a touch of new age and a smattering of avant-garde jazz. Six of the first seven songs are played by a quartet featuring John Zorn, who performs in a restrained, even romantic style here. This results in tunes that are a cut above lounge music, though exactly where that cut is positioned is difficult to tell. There's a lovely solo piano piece performed by Evan Lurie included here (played once more by Ono to close out the album) that stands apart from the rest of the fare, sounding like a lost, intimate work by Samuel Barber and a rockishly swinging quintet number featuring drummer Bobby Previte that's very fetching. The remainder of the disc is made up of solo guitar performances by Ono in which he treads a fine line between an overly gauzy new age-y approach and a fascinating hybrid that seems intent on combining numerous global influences into one dream-state conception. Sometimes reminiscent of Robert Fripp's explorations, Ono generally has found unique ground here, his reverberating, deep-toned acoustic strummings evoking the dark, Teutonic evenings implied in the titles of several of these compositions. A bit of a smorgasbord but an interesting album that's worth checking out.

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