Otomo Yoshihide’s New Jazz Quintet feat. Mats Gustafsson – ONJQ Live in Lisbon (CF 069)
Guitarist Otomo Yoshihide’s New Jazz Quintet is a study in contrasts. Long stretches of free-form sound and noise explorations give way to surprising melodic moments or sparser improvisations. On “Serene,” after a lengthy bit of feedback, the group plays a fairly straightforward reading of Eric Dolphy’s theme before returning to their rather intense mood. The powerful ensembles of “Flutter” suddenly becomes an alto bass duet before the other musicians rejoin and the intensity level builds and builds. “Eureka” uses a mournful theme which contrasts with its title and builds in intensity to an almost-frightening level before finding a sort of inner peace. Although certainly not for all listeners, this live set is quite stimulating and should satisfy listeners with extremely open ears.