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Aki Takase Japanic (JP/DE/NO)

“A wildly inventive, adrenaline-charged ride that dances exotically, swings hard, mesmerizes, provokes and lands explosive punches.”

– Ian Patterson, All About Jazz

”Cañizares's graceful vocals are the perfect accompaniment to Sosa's delicate piano playing.”

– Matt Hooke, All About Jazz

Pianist and composer Aki Takase’s (b. 1948) fiftieth own album Thema Prima (BCM, 2019) is in its sudden twists and turns reminiscent of a big family get-together where everyone is talking loudly and at the same time, perhaps after having had one glass too many. The notion of gathering the family together might have been one of the inspirations for this album, seeing that Takase, who was born in Osaka, decided with this album and with her new quintet Japanic to celebrate her anniversary, half the years of which she has lived in Berlin.

Moreover, the layered accumulation of musical experiences throughout the years can be heard in Takase’s new, mesmerizing compositions, which include references to iconic jazz masters starting all the way from pianist Fats Waller. However, the most central influence to this frantically direction-shifting music could be derived from American-Mexican composer Conlon Nancarrow who is a pioneer in mechanical music that surpasses the human capacity. In Japanic, this type of machinal connection is highlighted by the vinyl-spinning and sampling, German Vincent von Schlippenbach (b. 1980), also well-known as musician and producer DJ Illvibe. This is indeed literally a meeting of relatives, as he is the son of Aki Takase’s husband, Alexander von Schlippenbach.

PHOTO © Christine Wick


Aki Takase – piano
Daniel Erdmann – reeds
DJ Illvibe aka Vincent von Schlippenbach – turntables, sampler
Johannes Fink – bass
Dag Magnus Narvesen – drums