Saturday, May 6, 2017

New Album Genzo Okabe ''Disoriental''

Disoriental is a musical exploration and expression of the complexity of identity. As an expatriate artist who has been living as a minority in different places for most of his lifetime, Okabe attempts to critically approach the versatility and universality of jazz, a genre that absorbs all kinds of external elements to form its shape anew.

Since its birth in the United States with black music at its heart, jazz has been incorporated into music education all over the world. This institutionalization has certainly helped spread musical knowledge and techniques, making many people familiar with jazz and contributing to the development of jazz performances and productions. On the other hand, since a sort of structure and control are an inevitable part of institutionalization, the more systematic the curriculum, the more our thinking process necessarily suffers from standardization. As a result, artists start to de-emphasize musical creativity and only become excited at opportunities to show off their virtuosity in performance, not the expression of their own unique, personal identity.

One of the clearest characteristics of Disoriental is the use of suspended chords. Conventionally, suspension is either major or minor in Western counterpoint. However, in most folk music traditions around the world, five sounds can be found, and their universality actually has a very deep relationship with the versatility of jazz. Starting from this premise, Okabe pursues the possibility of a pentatonic “scale” unique to Japanese traditional music—consisting of 1, b9, 4, 5, 7—in an attempt to reproduce the five notes in a way that does not correspond to the conventional heptatonic scale in the well temperament system. Through this process of seeking musical originality, Asian identity is mixed with jazz and Western music to produce a unique, unfamiliar, Disoriental music.

1. Opening
2. Castroni
3. Stepped on the Sheet
4. Go Sleep
5. Ningyo
6. SMS
7. Still Blues
8. Disoriental

Genzo Okabe – alto sax
Miguel Rodriguez – piano
Steven Willem Zwanink – double bass
Francesco De Rubeis – drums

© 2017 - NewArts International / Challenge Records Int.