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Thisness by Miles Okazaki (album review by Colette L.)

This is the latest full-length record from guitarist Miles Okazaki as band-leader. An odd, noisy, blitzed-out document of a group who, by the sound of it, are on the verge of falling apart at the seams, in the best way possible. Pianist Matt Mitchell’s complex, polyrhythmic piano/synth lines weave in between and dance with Okazaki’s lightning-fast angular style, all while the rhythm section constructs these hypnotic grooves, only to intentionally tear them down mere minutes later. There is a playful “anything goes” attitude to the compositions here that might bring to mind the later work of Dolphy, or even the electric era of  Herbie Hancock’s group. The first track, “In some far off place”, is a stand-out in its atmospheric, slower pace, although tracks 3 and 4 are also great with their funkier, more driving sounds. Definitely a highlight of 2022. 3⁄4. Favorite Tracks: 1,3

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