Sunday, April 14, 2019
Concert Review: Assif Tsahar and Tatsuya Nakatani at the 1900 Building
An Israeli saxophonist and a Japanese percussionist walk into an office building in Kansas… It’s not the opening line of an offensive joke. Instead, the unlikely scenario resulted in a bracing avant-garde recital at the 1900 Building on Wednesday, April 10. Longtime friends and collaborators Assif Tsahar and Tatsuya Nakatani played two brief but incendiary sets. I paid $21 to join three dozen people at the improvisatory freakout.
Tsahar wailed like a free jazz superhero on tenor saxophone as Nakatani banged on drums, sawed on gongs and did untoward things to cymbals. I’ll admit to later goofing on Nakatani’s manic style with pots, pans and utensils in my kitchen, but I can’t come close to replicating his expert form of mayhem. Even when pieces of Nakatani’s kit accidentally fell to the floor, the timing of each crash was perfect.
I understand why skeptics doubt the sanity of audiences who intentionally subject themselves to free jazz. “Is it even music?” Yet the question answers itself. I may not encounter more vital music in 2019 than the cacophonous commotion created by Tasahar and Nakatani in Mission Woods, Kansas.
(Original image by Plastic Sax.)