Shoji Hano / Poly Breath Percussion Band

P.B.2 Live

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Issued in 1997 on PSF, the live album by the Poly Breath Percussion Band is an exercise in skronk, rhythm, and groove. Featuring Shoji Hano on traps and talking drums; Megumu Nishino on an elaborate array of electronic drums, electronics, and traditional Japanese percussion instruments; Tetsu Yamachi on electric bass; and the totally amazing alto talents of veteran improviser and free jazzer Keizo Inoue (electronica pioneer Tetsu's father), this band in a live setting is just plain dangerous. There are five selections in this live date, and each of them has an individualized methodology in getting to the "real" outside. They begin on the fringes, with fluid rhythms locking horns and gesturing one another further. As the drummers take hold of the middle of an improvisation, Inoue does his part to illustrate and translate the language with his won soloing. He is fastidious, never playing an extra note, and always sharp and angular in his tone, which is refined and honed to a point; it literally cuts through the entire mix to declare, question, explicate, or argue with the rhythmic matters being put forth by the drummers. At the bottom of all this flux and motion is Yamachi's bass, not holding it together so much as building bridges three ways: between both drummers, then to their collective sound and Inoue's and all of it to himself. He doesn't predict -- he reacts and moves everything down to the base of its sonic existence. This is a mind-blowing exercise in free improv with some of the most soulful playing in this setting ever recorded.

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