Produced for John Zorn's label, which is appropriate, as the Japanese noise artist Otomo Yoshahide is frequently cited as the Tokyo avant-garde equivalent to New York's hyperactive composer. While generally miles apart in style, the New Jazz Quintet swings relatively close to the orbit of the '90s avant-garde work of John Zorn, who came full circle to an almost traditional jazz form. Here Yoshihide and a cast of Tokyo players approach the jazz standards of Eric Dolphy, and while the music is deceptively light for a bandleader rumored to have literally damaged architecture and eardrums in his solo noise performances, the composer occasionally sneaks a stab of piercing noise into the slick, postmodern jazz production. Certainly a curious project, but not nearly as interesting or compelling as Otomo Yoshahide's solo work or compositions with the group Ground Zero, in which Tokyo's finest shape music in an entirely unique and futuristic manner. On this album, the furturistic take on Eric Dolphy and Gerry Mulligan's jazz standards is appropriated respectfully and with a sly wit.
AllMusic Review by Dean McFarlane