Monday, October 14, 2019

Concert Review: Tatsuya Nakatani at the Ship

For a recital featuring a manic percussionist who blows into cymbals and mercilessly batters small instruments, Tatsuya Nakatani’s appearance at the 1900 Building in April was a remarkably formal affair.  (Plastic Sax review.)

Tucked into a corner of the West Bottoms speakeasy the Ship with keyboardist Shawn E. Hansen, steel guitarist Mike Stover and bassist Jeff Harshbarger, Nakatani gave a pleasingly casual performance with an entirely different sound on Wednesday, October 9.

Saxophonist Assif Tsahar accentuated Nakatani’s sharp edges at the 1900 Building six months ago, but the Kansas City based musicians situated the percussionist’s enormous bag of improvisational tricks in a luxurious bed of hypnotic grooves.  Hansen added surgical slashes of melody, Stover contributed spooky drones and Harbarger provided a vigorous rhythmic pulse. 

What could have been a self-indulgent mess was instead
an exercise in spellbinding minimalism.  I was obligated to leave 45 minutes into the opening jam but I’d like to think the otherworldly quartet didn’t let up for another two hours.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

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