Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Cecil does Japan
Joe Pierre | Los Angeles, CA United States | 01/15/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The "Akisakila" concert was a live concert in Japan by the Unit back in 1973 -- before the release of "Silent Tongues" and just after "Indent." "Akisakila Vol. 1" features a 60-minute hammering away by Cecil and core sidemen at the time Andrew Cyrille (drums) and Jimmy Lyons (alto sax). The trio concert actually lasted in excess of 80 minutes, making it impossible to fit on a single CD, much less an LP. "Akisakila Vol. 2" therefore has as it's first track the 20-minute conclusion to "Bulu Akisakila Kutala" (the name of the track on Vol 1.), picking up the trio in mid-flight. They're banging away in frenetic style pretty much for the duration and you can see here why Cyrille is sometimes called CT's best drummer. This is dense, live, energy music by the Unit. However, track 1 on Vol 2. really should be heard along with the first hour of the concert and therefore sits here alone like a decapitated monster.
The remaining 4 tracks that take up the other half of the Vol. 2 CD feature CT solo on piano, recorded 9 days later. It's not clear where the playing comes from -- there's no applause, so it might be a brief studio session and the recording is indeed more clear than the trio stuff (track 1), which has an airy, poorly miked sound throughout. In any case, there are 4 solo tracks that total about 30 minutes: 2) Choral of Voice (Elesion), 3) Lono, 4) Asapk in Ame, and 5) Indent. The LP version of this record subtitles track 4 as "1st layer part of Indent," while track 5 is called "1/2 of first layer, 2nd 1/2 of first layer." Curious indeed given that Cecil had just recorded "Indent" (now out of print on CD) 18 days earlier at Antioch College in Ohio -- and starting with track 3 here, it even sounds like the same song! Quite a rarity for Cecil to ever play the same song twice, and proof that he's not just improvising randomly, but does in fact play from notation.
The solo work here is strong, and because the recording sounds more pristine than either "Indent" or "Silent Tongues," it sounds more like latter-day Cecil. However, it stands apart from the disembodied trio music in recording quality and tone -- it's substantially more reigned in than the Unit's pyrotechnics. Altogether, this disc is therefore something of a mismash -- it doesn't make sense to own it without Vol 1., and the solo tracks have a different feel altogether. A shame you can't have the full 80-minute trio concert, "Bulu Akisakila Kutala" seamlessly on one disc.