This little gem was recorded live in October 1999 at the Hall Egg Farm, a small concert hall northwest of Tokyo on an egg farm (really). Kazue Sawai is a world-famous koto player. An improviser of great talent, she is the one responsible for putting the koto on the free music map. Her musical relationship with French saxophonist Michel Doneda and Japanese bassist Tetsu Saitoh goes back to 1996. On this record, the trio offers four improvisations, ten to 20 minutes in length. From the first notes, it is clear that the chemistry was working like a charm. A delicate fabric of sound is being woven; distinctions between oriental and occidental cultures are rendered irrelevant. Only the music, the musical poetry, matters. The sax (soprano) of Doneda adjusts perfectly to the soft playing of Sawai, the split-tones and tongue techniques creating contrast with the harp-like sound of the koto. When the volume rises, it is with admirable control. The sound quality of the recording adds extra value to the experience this concert must have been. This is magical listening time.
AllMusic Review by François Couture