Itaru Oki, born in Kobe in 1941, leading Japanese jazz scene as one of the most innovative trumpeter, boldly moved to Paris in 1974, leaving the past career including even local popularity behind. As one of his occasional homeland tours, he did a tour with Nobuyoshi Ino, bassist from the following generation.
Ino, born in Kiryu in 1950, made a professional debut as early as in 1971, has been counted as one of the leading bassists with a longer career including performances with the most prominent local jazz musicians such as Masayuki Takayanagi, Kazumi Watanabe, Masahiko Satoh, Masabumi Kikuchi and so on. Right after their gig at my club Café Amores was confirmed, I called up Choi Sun Bae, a Korean trumpeter known also as a member of the Kang Tae Hwan trio. There was no reason for him to decline my offer since Oki is one of his most respectable trumpeters and also Ino is one of his closest musical friends who had ever played together with in Korea, which I knew.
To our greatest surprise Choi came over here with his wife just to play one gig with Oki and Ino ! Oki whom Choi respects is as old as Choi and they can have a great chemistry. Their performance continued much over two hours in excess of the capacity of DAT, which I employed to record their gig live. Choi played any music prepared by Oki and Ino at sight-read without any rehearsal. Performing styles of two trumpeters are pretty different and it must be a fun to try to recognize which
is which. It is Choi who hits high notes with rather noisy sound.
Paper balloon (Kami-fusen), a title tune and Yawning Baku are Ino’s master pieces both of which he played with Lester Bowie together for their album “DUET” recorded in Tokyo in 1985. Lester loves Paper Balloon much enough to play with Abdulah Ibrahim at the Moers New Jazz Festival. In some occasions Oki and Choi go far away but they also love to play beautiful melodies. It is pretty interesting to know the fact that both of them have ever recorded an album with strings.
Takeo Suetomi (translated by Kenny Inaoka)