Akira Sakata & Chikamorachi

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Akira Sakata & Chikamorachi

A key figure on the Tokyo free jazz scene since the 1970s, when he did a lengthy stint in the Yosuke Yamashita Trio, horn player Akira Sakata has been enjoying something of a resurgence recently. In 2008, he teamed up with the considerably younger Chikamorachi – the rhythm section duo of drummer Chris Corsano and bassist Darin Gray – for a blistering series of Japan dates, which would lead to him getting his first overseas album release in decades. The group enlisted guitarist Jim O'Rourke when they returned to Japan for a second tour the following year, and he's one of the guests at their latest gig – a triumphant homecoming date after a trip to Europe. Sakata's old bandmaster Yamashita will be sitting in on piano, too, with koto virtuoso Michiyo Yagi also joining in.