Yasuaki Shimizu, David Cunningham | One Hundred

Staubgold (2009)
By GUSTAVO TURNER  |  February 24, 2009
3.5 3.5 Stars

090227_OneHundred_Main 
Imagine the kind of free jazz that would have developed in an alternate universe where mainstream classical music was defined by Michael Nyman's soundtracks to Peter Greenaway movies. Now imagine a live free-jazz concert in the hippest part of that universe's version of Tokyo.

If One Hundred sounds like that, it's because saxophonist Shimizu and sound manipulator Cunningham are seasoned Greenaway collaborators, and these are the highlights of a marvelous 2004 show in Roppongi. Cunningham has come a long way since his fluke chart success in the 1970s with the Flying Lizards' insouciant covers, and this release renews his claim to kinship with Terry Riley, Eno, David Toop, and the Penguin Café Orchestra.

Here Shimizu provides inventive post-Ornette interventions over Cunningham's textured guitar, pedal, and machine work, proceeding through dance music made by artificial satellites ("Cells"), long, intense passages ("Dots"), mystery ("Doors"), and quiet atmospherics created by artful delay ("Traces"). The set ends with the discreet sounds of "Roots" and "Lines," a possible soundtrack to the pulsating gobs of a particularly hypnotic lava lamp.
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