Virgo by the Kohashi-Overwater-Verploegen Trio is the latest release at Native DSD Music from Sound Liaison. It is a 2 Track Analog Recording that has been transferred to DXD and DSD by Sound Liaison.
The Kohashi-Overwater-Verploegen Trio is a Jazz group that creates a unique sound, standing on an equal footing with each other. Atzko Kohashi from Japan, joins two Jazz favorites from the NativeDSD Cataog – Tony Overwater and Angelo Verploegen from the Netherlands in this musical combo. Beyond ethnicity and nationality, they seek and discover their own sound sharing a passion for music.
Japanese pianist Atzko Kohashi had something special in mind when she invited Dutch bass player Tony Overwater to join her for a musical encounter. She longed to create a unique unit of bass harmony and melody with each voice being equal and contributing selflessly to the music. Her vision is connected to Japanese Zen aesthetics that generate simplicity and spontaneity. With trumpet player Angelo Verploegen they found their match – a soloist who can blend in, shine, and support the music all at the same time.
On a cold winter day, they met in an empty church in Amsterdam and started playing. For hours. Instantly the delicate sound of these three instruments blended into gentle and generous music that warmed their hearts.
A few months later, they recorded their debut album Virgo in the only way possible for such collaboration. In a beautiful radio studio from the 1930’s, with a great sounding Steinway, only a few microphones but of the utmost quality and recorded directly to a 2 Track Analog Tape Recorder before a live audience. The three instruments blended into one sound, telling a story together.
Virgo originally appeared on the Jazz In Motion label as a Stereo CD. It is now available on the Sound Liaison label at NativeDSD in Stereo DSD 512, DSD 256, DSD 128, DSD 64 and DXD.
Album Producer Peter Bjornild says “Virgo by the Kohashi-Overwater-Verplogen Trio is the first release in a new series of albums licensed from Rhapsody Audiophile Recordings (RAR). RAR is an initiative of audiophile audio guru Harry van Dalen, producer, and high-end tuning expert Michael van Polen and Prix Europa awarded recording engineer and Frans de Rond.
RAR records direct to a 2 track Studer A80 tape recorder. Using a completely analog signal chain, RAR generates an organic, natural sound with a visible sound stage. Harry and Michel also run the Rhapsody high end music shop in Hilversum, the Netherlands. Since 1988 Rhapsody has been the expert in high-end residential audio reproduction systems.
Specialized in tuning, Harry and Michael are known to be able to combine different audio components resulting in top sets exceeding all expectations. Prior to release, most Sound Liaison recordings are given a last test drive at the shop as Harry’s and Michael’s critical ears and constructive feedback continues to be of great importance to our mastering process. So, it is with great pride and joy that I welcome Rhapsody Audiophile Recordings to the Sound Liaison Label.”
Atzko Kohashi adds “Looking up at the night sky, we can see the Virgo constellation lies in the southern direction. Virgo is the sixth astrological sign in the Zodiac and the Goddess of Innocence and Purity in Greek mythology. The word ‘Virgo’ means virgin in Latin and the Virgo symbol is designed to depict Virgin – innocence and purity. Innocence and purity are also important elements for Japanese aesthetics, which generate simplicity and freshness. You see it in many classic Japanese art forms such as choreography, ink brush paintings, Ikebana (art of flower arrangement), Sado (tea ceremony), Noh (the oldest Japanese theatrical art), etc. Innocence and purity also encourage artists’ creativity and spontaneity.
Here is a well-known quote by Zeami (1363-1443), a Japanese Noh actor, playwright, poet, and aesthetician, in his treatise for the sake of art Kakyo (A Mirror of the Flower). “Never forget Shoshin.” Shoshin (初心) is a word from Zen Buddhism meaning ‘beginner’s mind’ which refers to the initial feelings or impression at the first step. Zeami suggests that one must approach life with a beginner’s mind, with an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions.
I think Shoshin is connected to innocence and original purity of mind. Zeami’s wisdom applies to any type of art form in the current era, of course to jazz as well. I understand this quote to mean “Never lose your initial enthusiasm. Keep your mind open just like a beginner and renew yourself.”
And here we are. For this album we have played our longtime favorite songs composed by our beloved predecessors whom we adore and have respect for. You can also hear our original songs that are deeply rooted in jazz spirit. And what is more, just like the old times, we have recorded the album on analog, which is the purest way for the recording to capture the moment. Throughout this live recording (with audience) we were forced to venture into playing no matter what happened. One shot deal. No more takes, no editing – very pure and honest, with so much presence. We hope you can enjoy our musical world view.”
Atzko Kohashi – Piano
Tony Overwater – Double Bass
Angelo Verploegen – Flugelhorn
Total time: 00:48:35
|Analog Tape Recorder||
|Analog to Digital Converter||
MSB ADC V
AudioQuest and Schnerzinger
Harry van Dalen
Horus, Merging Technologies
Main system – Josephson C617, Piano – Josephson C700S, Bass – Josephson C700A, Flugelhorn – AEA R92
Hifiman HE1000se and Sennheiser HD800S
|Original Recording Format|
Naomi van Schoot
Michael van Polen and Frans de Rond
Recorded at MCO Studio 2 in Hilversam, The Netherlands on March 29, 2018
TAD Compact Evolution One
|Release Date||March 24, 2021|
Jazzenzo Jazz Magazine
The album ‘Virgo’ features the collaboration of the Japanese pianist Atzko Kohashi, double bassist Tony Overwater and Angelo Verploegen who plays flugelhorn on this album. The title refers to the mission of this trio: the music must sound pure. This philosophy can also be traced back to the cultural background of the pianist. In the liner notes she elaborates on Japanese Zen Buddhism and its aesthetics in which simplicity and spontaneity are important concepts. The choice of making the album as a analog recording in front of a live audience also fits this principle.
The album has ten pieces, seven of which are classical compositions. Duke Ellington, Steve Swallow, Pat Metheny each have one and Wayne Shorter and Charlie Haden each get two. They’ve all been chosen by theme. We hear new versions of Ellington’s ‘The Village of the Virgins’ and Wayne Shorter’s ‘Virgo’. Kohashi also wrote a piece and Tony Overwater contributed two compositions. It is striking that many of the works (Swallow, Haden, Overwater) are composed from the bass point of view. The interplay between pianist and bassist is always the basis for the sound to which Verploegen gives extra color and support on flugelhorn. The three instruments provide a close-knit and warm group sound.
The classics receive a fresh interpretation. This is partly due to the small line-up and the new timbre that the flugelhorn gives to it. But the unadorned playing style of the musicians also contributes to this. Due to the lack of drums, (even) more intimate performances arise.
The hymn-like and originally richly orchestrated “The Village of the Virgins” seems reduced to its essence. Shorter’s “Beauty and the Beast” is now heard in a stripped-down, acoustic version. However, the sound still sounds full and warm. Swallow’s “Peau Douce” gets a nice moment.
The trio’s own pieces fit seamlessly with the classics in terms of atmosphere. Kohashi’s “A’s Blues” is, contrary to the title’s belief, a cheerful piece with captivating phrasing. Overwater’s compositions are quite different. ‘Yi Jian’ is a – beautiful – a sunken piece for bass and piano. On ‘Ballad for Ché’, Verploegen gets free rein for expressive improvisations.
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