Guitarist Miles Okazaki can get (unfortunately the pun was not intended) tricky. As a composer, he encompasses a sound that spirals constantly until one may feel things could get out of control, but he manages to keep both hands on the steering wheel. Even as a player with Steve Coleman and the Five Elements or other groups that trod the roads of unclear melodies, Okazaki has that same trademark mathematical, post-bop flair. It can get a little difficult to hear sometimes, honestly. Though this is less the case on his upcoming album, Trickster, out in March on Pi Recordings.
Unlike his last album from five years ago, 2012’s live recording Figurations, the songs on Trickster are tighter, more direct, more focused. They take the listener on a ride much the group which features Craig Taborn on piano, Anthony Tidd on bass, and Sean Rickman on drums (Tidd and Rickman are compatriots of Okazaki’s in Coleman’s group), never gets lost and makes sure the audience doesn’t end up that way, either. This is certainly clear on the tune “Mischief Maker”, a whimsical three and a half minutes with a point. Check it out below and be on the lookout for Trickster this March.
Trickster, the latest album from guitarist Miles Okazaki, is out March 24 on Pi Recordings.
Miles Okazaki – guitar
Craig Taborn – piano
Anthony Tidd – bass
Sean Rickman – drums
Nextbop Editor-in-Chief Anthony Dean-Harris hosts the modern jazz radio show, The Line-Up, Fridays at 9pm CST on 91.7 FM KRTU San Antonio and is also a contributing writer to DownBeat Magazine and the San Antonio Current.