Japanic is the name of the current band of pianist Aki Takase, who was born 75 years ago in Osaka, Japan, and has lived in Berlin since 1987 with her equally piano-playing husband Alexander von Schlippenbach. For this quintet she has found musicians who are all a generation younger than herself: saxophonist Daniel Erdmann, bassist (and cellist) Johannes Fink, drummer Dag Magnus Narvesen and DJ Illvibe on the turntables. They all show similar character traits as Takase: curiosity for example, or joy of discovery, adventurousness, humor, eloquence and much more. In the past three decades, Takase has often referred to the old jazz tradition and always found an idiosyncratic expression through its improvisational language. With Japanic, however, she concentrates more on her art as an idiosyncratic composer who has always found her own personal improvisational music through her originals. Takase’s music with Japanic is indeed humorous, the harmonies sound lightning clever and it is often affectionate, gesture-rich melodies that she plays with this band also in order to challenge her musicians to contradict her as a leader and to force them to give eloquent answers.
Aki Takase – p
Daniel Erdmann – sax
DJ Illvibe aka Vincent von Schlippenbach – turntables
Johannes Fink – b
Dag Magnus Narvesen – dr