A Drum Thing is a new album from the Jazz Duo of Atzko Kohashi and Tony Overwater. It follows their 2 earlier albums at NativeDSD – Crescent: Music of John Coltrane, the 2023 NativeDSD Album of the Year – Jazz Duo and Virgo with Angelo Verploegen.
Playing Jazz is like building a sandcastle on the beach.” I once had such a conversation with Tony after a rehearsal. You remember how you built those sandcastles as a child, just madly building them, forgetting the time passing and not even hearing someone calling for you…..soon the waves come and wash away the sandcastle, but you don’t care. You’ll just build a new one tomorrow because the process of building is just so much fun.
Perhaps the same can be said of our rehearsals. As we come up with ideas, we deepen our understanding of the songs, explore our sound, and develop the music, just like scooping up handfuls of sand and pilling it up. However, just as even the most beautifully constructed sandcastle will eventually be swept away by the waves, our music evaporates into the air as soon as it is produced.
It is a transitory thing. We cannot keep the notes we played in rehearsals, nor do we need to play the same way again. Jazz is the music of improvisation, not the music of reproducing the same thing. With different ideas and spontaneous inventions, the same song is played differently each time. The process of creating music in this way is enjoyable and meaningful.
You may have noticed that the repertoire on this album features many songs composed by drummers, but are ironically played by our duo of piano and bass. Somehow, while playing their songs, I feel like traveling freely through a world without borders. Exotic melodies remind me of folk music from different regions, and as I listen to them, my mind wanders to the West, the East, and sometimes to my nostalgic homeland, Japan.
The day of the recording session was like a whole new page for us, with a fresh mind and a free spirit. Many of the songs on this album turned out to be unexpected performances that we could not have imagined during rehearsals. And….how lucky we are that our “sandcastles” did not disappear, only to be captured on this album through the recording!
Atzko Kohashi, Piano
Tony Overwater, Double Bass
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 00:53:52
Piano – Josephson C700S, Josephson C617 (2x) & Extinct BM9 (2x) Bass – Josephson C700A, Neumann M149
Hifiman HE1000se / Sennheiser HD800S
|Original Recording Format
Atzko Kohashi & Tony Overwater
MCO Studio 2, The Netherlands, on December 15th 2022
|Recording, mixing and mastering
Frans de Rond
TAD Compact Evolution One
|February 13, 2024
The music on A Drum Thing was created in a special way and at the same time not. Not, because the method used by Atzko Kohashi and Tony Overwater has already been tried by hundreds of thousands.
Come together, compare ideas, rehearse, see where there is still room for planning and then put the pans on. The pianist and double bassist did the same, with the understanding that they did not meet with their own material in hand, but brought in work by mainly (legendary) drummers. From there, we can start rehearsing uninhibitedly from everyone’s mind, end the day and leave the rehearsal for what it was. To come together again a day or so later and build on the experiences of the last time.
Improvisation on improvisation and improvisation. Spontaneity, intuition, true intentions to explore each other while listening, these have become the building blocks for A Drum Thing . These were stacked on the foundations provided by both musicians and which consist of compositions by mainly drummers: Paul Motian, Jack DeJohnette, Al Foster and Peter Erskine. And especially Sunny Murray, more about that later. Double bassist Charlie Haden and Tony Overwater themselves also contributed material. While John Coltrane’s The Drum Thing not only supports this duo performance in name, but also concludes it.
That intuition – we already wrote it above – is one of the carriers of A Drum Thing . With Tony Overwater it manifests itself repeatedly, with Atzko Kohashi it is a bit more hidden. But both are riding on it. This album was made to experience, relive and find yourself in different waters each time. The diversity is enormous. The urge to deal with each other’s note distribution with an open mind is almost constant, so that thoughtfulness often prevails. But this is beautifully alternated with elements with which jazz music has developed so strongly. Like in Blues in Motian for example, where an unrelenting swing is captured.
Tony Overwater’s double bass sounds fantastic, which is certainly due to the recording technique used. But certainly also because of the self-confidence with which he handles his instrument. The double bass is so often right next to the piano, but just as often it folds underneath it. The same thing happens the other way around: the piano, an instrument that so often assigns itself a solo role, floats beneath the sounds of the most stately of all instruments, at other times taking time and space to tell its – in this case her story through the female hands that hold it. to stir – to convey.
But no matter how the two musicians relate to each other, there is always an intimate setting. Where you as a listener can enter carefully and be led to ingenious sound excursions. That automatically evoke understanding and therefore enhance your listening pleasure every time. A Drum Thing is more than one thing, it is a new milestone in the already flowery career of Tony Overwater – and probably also in that of Atzko Kohashi.
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