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Flat 122 - The Waves CD (album) cover


Flat 122


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.52 | 8 ratings

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4 stars Still somewhat obscure Flat 122 is a Japanese trio doing wonderful things with progressive fusion, and their debut from 2005 is as good an album as any I've heard from the Land of the Rising Sun's underground music scene. Master pianist Takao Kawasaki leads Kiyotaka Tanabe [drums] and Satoshi Hirata [guitar] through a virtuosic fantasy of ever-changing rhythms, improvisations, textures and moods revealing the unmistakable brilliance of three players who know exactly what they're doing, whether it's with eastern fire or western jazz.

The fifteen-minute title is a delicious first course, full of explosive stuff centered around Takao Kawasaki's inspired piano lines. This is, in essence, jazz, and Flat 122 are true students of the form. Three players who are so good it is undeniable as they take apart and rebuild almost every genre of instrumental music known to man (and they had the sense to still make it musical instead of giving us some tiresome exhibition). 'Neo Classic Dance' is just as full of energy if more playful, recalling the animated work of American avant-garders Cartoon with all their Raymond Scott-isms, and very prog 'The Summer' is quirky and compelling. More choice stuff in crystalline 'Panorama', 'Dizziness' lives up to its name, 'Winter Song' is soft and western in tone. And as if that weren't enough, 14-minute 'Spiral' takes us out in style with another display of inspiration.

Meticulous and quietly brilliant, Flat 122 are a force of unknowable proportions, and The Waves should be owned by those who appreciate musical mastery in all its forms. Recommended to fans of anyone from fellow countrymen Le Silo to nu-jazz mainstays as The Bad +.

Atavachron | 4/5 |


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