Aki Yamamoto and The Archi-tet

On "JAZZ... MAKE IT A DOUBLE" on October 22nd, MUSOH will share the bandstand with The Archi-tet, a wonderful mid-sized ensemble led by my good friend Akihiro "Aki" Yamamoto.

My first experience of playing jazz was to join a college big band, so I have always enjoyed and appreciated playing in large ensembles, although as a composer I tend to write for small groups more often. The Archi-tet boasts gorgeous harmony of three horns for which Aki carefully and tastefully prepares his charts. It is a very flexible setting where you can have the well structured arrangements as well as the room for spontaneous improvisations, so the listeners can really enjoy the best of both large and small ensembles.

When you listen to our works, it may seem that Aki and I take entirely different approaches on creating music. But the differences are only stylistic and superficial. I actually find his philosophy and attitude towards writing and shaping ensemble very similar to mine. We compose and arrange from producer's perspective and believe in compositions drawing big pictures rather than being mere vehicles for individual expressions. We write, arrange and direct according to the messages, tales or visions that we would like to convey, and it is our job as band leaders to present those in every step of the way. This type of approach, when done properly, makes every solo relevant, every tune coherent, every set thematic and ultimately, every show memorable and meaningful - so I believe.

As a drummer, I also enjoy being a part of this machinery that translates Aki's visions into sounds. Sometimes he requests something that's challenging, more so on conceptual level than technical, but usually once you hear it, you get it, and it's beautiful. You see, Aki the composer is the architect and we, including Aki the bassist, are the craftsmen who actually make his dream reality through our own skills and creativity.

I'm very glad and proud to have Aki and The Archi-tet on this show and I know I will have a blast. And I know that you will enjoy his fantastic tunes, too!

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