Kan Mikami / John Edwards / Alex Neilson - Live at Cafe OTO

"Japanese bluesman Kan Mikami is nothing less than an unalloyed force of nature. A skin-shredding blast of frozen wind from the poor, rural north of Japan that he calls home. In the late 1960s, like thousands of other Japanese young people Mikami made his way to Tokyo in search of a life different from that of his parents. Since then he has forcefully carved out a space for himself in the culture as a modernist poet, a raging folk singer, an author, a actor, an engaging TV personality, and one of Japan’s most uniquely powerful performers.

For most of Mikami’s career as a singer, he has performed solo. Just him and his electric guitar against the world, creating jagged A-minor vamps to drive along the surreal wisdom of his lyrics. But he’s equally at home in more demanding improvisational contexts such as those provided here by John Edwards on bass and Alex Neilson on drums. Their dense propulsive textures seem to spur on Mikami, his voice arcing powerfully into fragmented spaces, his guitar darting, colliding, shedding jagged and angular splinters of sound. A pulsing, raging maelstrom of serrated-edged energy. Gruff, rough, honest and very, very real." - Alan Cummings

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Kan Mikami / vocals, guitar

John Edwards / bass

Alex Neilson / percussion

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Recorded live at Cafe OTO on 3rd April 2013 by James Dunn. Mixed by John Chantler. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi

Tracklisting:

1. Aoshi

2. Dany Boya

3. Ankotsubaki Gaiden

4. Taria

5. Kamome

6. Furusato

7. Narayamabushiko

8. Maronie

9. Shiroi Inu

John Edwards

John Edwards is a true virtuoso whose staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role, whether playing solo or with others. Perpetually in demand, he has played with Evan Parker, Sunny Murray, Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee, Lol Coxhill, Peter Brötzmann, Mulatu Astatke and many others.

"I think John Edwards is absolutely remarkable: there’s never been anything like him before, anywhere in jazz." - Richard Williams, The Blue Moment

Alex Neilson

“Already a legendary free-drummer Alex Neilson has played with most of the musical underground’s heavyweights of this era. This one man folk renaissance movement has left a trail of recordings and thrilling live shows with Jandek, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Heather Leigh, Alasdair Roberts, and Richard Youngs in his youthful wake. 

Always moving from project to project, Neilson brings a sense of exploration and independence to his playing. As one of the most energetic and ‘in-tune’ free players around, Neilson has a better grasp than most on trying to get across the nature of improvisation.” - stylusmagazine 

Kan Mikami

Japanese underground folk singer, actor, author, TV presenter and poet. Born in the village of Kodomari, Aomori prefecture in 1950. In the seventies he released several albums on major labels like Columbia. Since 1990 he has been associated with the independent label P.S.F. Records.