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Natto Quartet: Thousand Oaks
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Thousand Oaks
year: 2005   |   cat#: 482-1036


1. Ume
2. Dengaku
3. Kinpira
4. Genmaicha
5. Kuri-ae
6. Chawan mushi
7. Shochu

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Critics called Natto Quartet's April 2003 debut, Headlands, "exotic, equisitely crafted, and eye opening" (Signal to Noise) and "music for our time" (, with The Wire's Bill Shoemaker noting, "each sound has the self-contained integrity of a stroke of masterful calligraphy." "The sound is so arresting and unique," mused WEMU Music Librarian/Cadence Senior Columnist Michael G. Nastos, "that the open-minded listener cannot help but be completely drawn into their weave of sonic wonder. It's a truly new music unlike anything I've ever heard, a strong candidate for best avant project of 2003, and sure to turn many a global thinking, progressive-minded ear inside out." Thousand Oaks further documents the group's singular approach to finding common ground for collective improvisation with instruments from otherwise disparate eras, cultures and musical genres.

Musicians: Philip Gelb (shakuhachi), Shoko Hikage (koto), Tim Perkis (electronics), Chris Brown (piano)

"...fulfilling the promise of collective improvisation to create music of subtlety and complexity far exceeding the imagination of its participants... a rare level of nuance and balanced interaction that invites repeated immersion in a profound listening experience. A strong candidate for my year-end improv top ten." — Downtown Music Gallery

"Thousand Oaks is the album of a group that is in complete possession of its art but still holds a few surprises for the future. Come for the unorthodox instrumentation, stay for the level of collective improvisation." — All Music Guide

"In many ways it's closer to Feldman than to free improv: a hushed, nocturnal music where each sound is like a separate brushstroke offered up for contemplation. It tends to work through microtonal variations on carefully selected handfuls of notes, so that a single pitch may appear once with the water drop purity of Brown’s piano, then be immediate echoed by the bent notes of koto or shakuhachi, or by Perkis’s wriggly electronics." — Paris Transatlantic

"Exceptional stuff." — JazzTimes

More Information...

Natto Quartet: Thousand OaksDowntown Music Gallery

Natto Quartet: Thousand OaksCadence

Natto Quartet: Thousand OaksJazzTimes

Natto Quartet: Thousand OaksSignal to Noise

Natto Quartet: Thousand OaksAll About Jazz (Italy)

All About Jazz review

Review at

All Music Guide Review

Natto Quartet main page at

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