ALL ABOUT JAZZ
Okidoki features the fragile saxes and clarinet of Yoko Tade, the solid tuba, recorder and pianica of Takero Sekizima and the unsettling guitar of Usui. Throughout the ten tracks, recorded in the Nagoya live-house Tokuzo — Usui’s home base — earlier this year, Tade and Sekizima outline a simple, sometimes even sweet and childish melody, while Usui pushes them to the edge, with his thorny, jagged playing.
The third track imitates a soundtrack to a pre-duel scene in a samurai film. The two reed players produce breathy sounds that are similar to the shakuhachi bamboo flute, already a clich? in such scenes, and Usui references the traditional string instrument, shamisen, as if it were played by a wild slide guitarist. The Tade-penned “Nagi” features her playing a cyclical charming melody, with Sekizima suppling a solid base with his tuba while Usui sends the melody to mysterious terrains with his percussive playing. Usui manages here, as he did on Volcanic Island to create a truly collaborative atmosphere, so tight that if we pull out any of the trio members, the magic might disappear.
Usui is a rare original voice who delivers his highly personal musical vocabulary throughout these two interesting discs.