Japan, 2002, free improvisation / avant-folk

明田川荘之 (Shoji Aketagawa), 三上寛 (Kan Mikami) & 石塚俊明 (Toshiaki Ishizuka)大勘定 (Daikanjyo)

This is a collaboration, yes, but it needs to be known that Mikami, the vocalist and guitarist, wrote almost everything on here. You might think, therefore, that the other two performers are just along for the ride, but that wouldn’t be right. Aketagawa’s and Ishizuka’s playing breathes as much spirit into this live music as its composer does. They all become co-creators in one of the wildest yet most intimate live recordings I’ve ever heard. A timeless classic that captures all that was free, wild, and exploratory of the best music of the 20th century. I’d been in Tokyo four years when this album was recorded, and I lived not too far from the venue. Too bad I wasn’t into this kind of music then; I could’ve experienced an excellent show. I could’ve been the fourth person in the crowd. I’m pretty sure I would have sat stunned like an idiot as the piano playing washed over me. Like I didn’t belong. Like I was intruding. The title track near the end is just…so beautiful and powerful. I wonder what the “large bill” is referring to. Some kind of insurmountable debt?

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