Dancer in Nirvana
  • Kazuki Yamanaka
    Kazuki Yamanaka

Kazuki Yamanaka

Dancer in Nirvana

Fresh Sound New Talent

Kazuki Yamanaka (as, ss), Russ Lossing (p), Cameron Brown (b), Gerald Cleaver (d)

Reference: FSNT-594

Bar code: 8427328435949

The idea of a sound. Long has been the journey that brought Kazuki Yam­­anaka from Saitama, a city at the periphery of Greater Tokyo Area, to New York City via the SUNY Conservatory of Music at Purchase College and, finally, the Brooklyn avant-garde jazz scene in the quest for his sound. Eventually, chance brought Kazuki and his partners to Brooklyn’s Ibeam in December 2018: and there it was, the sound. Thanks to the inner energy and openness to what the city has offer to those who can grab it in terms of diversity, these four musicians came together as a sound, each contributing independently, respecting each other, waiting patiently for what each has to say, note after note, sound after sound, until beauty is reached. This requires openness and acceptance to uncertainty, a sense of innocent surprise to capture the full benefit of what good and fresh the city has to offer and make it your own.

The sound of surprise, the ultimate essence of improvisation. As Kazuki himself states, “improvisational music is natural to me as I perceive it as human life itself: facing the unknown together, understanding each other, reaching for a common vision. There is no better feeling.” And this is what these four musicians transmit: a sense of purpose and empathy. It is hard to believe this is not a working band as it sounds like they have known and played with each other forever. Besides their individualities—Kazuki refers to them as energy (Russ), generosity (Cameron), and consistency (Gerald) —personal histories and experiences they express beauty. The three of them come together symbiotically in the music space Kazuki is able to create with his melodic yet free approach to composing that leaves ample space to express themselves fully and with all the calm it takes.

Thus the music speaks for and by itself, drawing from many different sources of inspiration: from Statues of Buddhism in Kyoto for Dancer in Nirvana to an “elusive” melody {Elusive Mood), a heartfelt dedication to John Abercrombie in John’s Green Waltz (one of his mentors along with Jon Gordon, Jon Faddis, and Hal Galper), and memories of old days in Reminiscence. Kazuki knows the tradition as Stella’s Fancy intervallic melody (is Stella fancy or the fancy of Stella?) and playing with Lady Bird’s changes in Lady Peacock clearly show. But it is his own approach and sharing his vision with his partners that make this music unique. Enjoy.

—Marco Cangiano
Staff Writer, The New York City Jazz Record

01. Dancer in Nirvana (Kazuki Yamanaka) 5:51
02. Elusive Mood (Kazuki Yamanaka) 5:29
03. John’s Green Waltz (Kazuki Yamanaka) 5:10
04. The Life of a Mushroom (Kazuki Yamanaka) 4:42
05. Stella’s Fancy (Kazuki Yamanaka) 4:26
06. Lady Peacock (Kazuki Yamanaka) 5:58
07. The Lost Sheep (Kazuki Yamanaka) 5:56
08. Reminiscence (Kazuki Yamanaka) 5:39
09. Epilogue (Yamanaka-Lossing-Brown-Cleaver) 7:26

Album details

Kazuki Yamanaka (alto sax, soprano sax), Russ Lossing (piano), Cameron Brown (bass), Gerald Cleaver (drums).
Recorded at The Bunker Studio in Brooklyn, New York City, March 24 & 25, 2019

Recording & mixing engineer: Akihiro NIshimura
Mastering engineer: Alex DeTurk at The Bunker Studio
Potography: Clara Pereira
Graphic design: Yukako Yamanaka

Produced by Kazuki Yamanaka
Executive producer: Jordi Pujol
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas S.L.

Special thanks to Dr. Sachiko Kuno

Press reviews


$12.89  (tax incl.)

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