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Uchihashi Kazuhisa &  Mani Neumeier - Uchi-Mani Deluxe CD (album) cover


Uchihashi Kazuhisa & Mani Neumeier



4.00 | 1 ratings

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4 stars Being a fan of Uchihashi Kazuhisa's work both as a member of Altered States and in his improvisations with Tatsuya Yoshida and a fan of Mani Neumeier's excellent drumming in Guru Guru/whatever other bands I've heard him in, I was naturally interested when I saw that the two had come together to record an album. Based on this interest, I checked out the samples available via Squidco, and knew that it was something I needed to buy and listen to. What I got was a nice, solid slab of improv by two masters of their styles. The album was recorded in Uchihashi's homeland, at the Super Deluxe Club in Tokyo, Japan - hence the name of the album, Uchi-Mani Deluxe.

Mani not only keeps the beat here, but also manages to play some very intricate and fun drum parts throughout the recording. I didn't expect anything less from him, though. Every album I've heard him play on has included lively, inventive drumming, and he hasn't slowed down at all on this album (which was recorded just last year, when he was 68!). Along with the drum kit, I'm pretty sure he played some on his collection of pots and pans, which always sounds great and changes things up a bit.

Uchihashi Kazuhisa's style of guitar playing here is just as varied as Mani's drumming - he utilizes quite a lot of echo and delay, allowing him to add more depth to the music. He manages to show off his skills without overpowering or stealing the spotlight, which is another great thing. Thanks to altering the speed of his loops and adding other effects to his playing in general, we get quite a large variety of sounds coming out of the guitar here.

My favorite thing about this album, though, is that the two seem like they were made to play together. I don't know if they had played together much before this recording, but they manage to display a sort of musical companionship throughout the improv that isn't always present. They keep things interesting throughout the album's almost 79 minutes. Sometimes it's loud and very raucous, other times they quiet things down to give listeners a break. Whatever they're doing, though, it sounds great.

If you're a fan of Neumeier's drumming, Kazuhisa's guitar playing, and/or skilled improvisers in general, I'm sure you'll find this album enjoyable. I know I do. This one gets a strong four stars from me.

SaltyJon | 4/5 |


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