Akira Sakata, Jim O’Rourke, Mette Rasmussen, Chris Corsano - Live at SuperDeluxe - Volume 1 [vinyl]

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Premiera: 06.05.2024

Akira Sakata - saxophone, voice
Jim O’Rourke - guitar
Mette Rasmussen - saxophone
Chris Corsano - drums

From the outset this ad hoc quartet hit the gas, launching into a frenzied, high-octane set with alto saxophonist Rasmussen engaging in a furious tightrope-walk of upper register screams while O’Rourke unspools some of the most gnarly guitar noise this side of Masayuki Takayanagi. Of course, with such flinty, seasoned improvisers there are thrilling peaks-and-valleys, such as the extended hydroplaning guitar O’Rourke sculpts mid-way through the first extended piece, with the rest of the group taking a much-deserved pause. The pause sets the stage of a thrilling recalibration, with Corsano first diving in with an epic improvisation only to recede for one of Sakata’s singular vocal improvisations, a throaty incantation as dynamic and visceral as his alto playing. Rasmussen returns, with Sakata picking up his clarinet, and suddenly the twinned reed blast that started the whole performance toggles into more spacious interplay, tapping into jazz orthodoxy without being held captive by it.

The entire recording is a testament to refined listening. Even at the most scorching peaks each player is deftly attuned to one another’s sonic projections. Bridging generations, continents, and individual aesthetics, Rasmussen, Corsano, Sakata, and O’Rourke find common cause, convening for an evening of galvanic sound that’s simultaneously exhilarating and spiritual.