Azusa Yamada and Pearl Alexander at Sakaiki 2015 (2015)

Azusa Yamada, Alexander, Yamada

Pearl Alexander, Azusa Yamada

This session was recorded at a Tea Ceremony on May 6th, 2015. The marimba's unique woody sound and the low bass string of the contrabass are the perfect combination with the beautiful voice of Pearl Alexander. Worldwide acclaimed recording engineer Seigen Ono captured the cheerful and vivid sounds in this live recording.

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Azusa Yamada

Vibraphone and Marimba artist Azusa Yamada majored in the marimba and studied a College Diploma Course at the Toho Gakuen University College of Music and undergraduate with global marimba players Abe Keiko and Hama Mayumi. In 2011 she was a student and received her Music Degree. In addition to performing with Wuja Bin Bin and Shibusawa Knight's Orchestra, Azusa also writes compositions for my own bands MoMo, Atlas, Nouon and Quolofune. Azusa is featured on the albums Azusa Yamada and Pearl Alexander at Sakaiki 2015 (SDM & LiveRec SDSD-1036) and Azusa Yamada and Pearl Alexander at Sakaiki 2016 (SDM & LiveRec SDSD-1038) that were recorded by Seigen Ono. Azusa Yamada has appeared in several international music festivals including the Glastonbury Festival in the UK, the San Sebastian Jazzaldia in Spain, FNN Sines in Portugal and La Roque D' Antheron Festival De Piano in France. She has also appeared in several music festivals and events in Japan including Roppongi Art Night, La Folle Journé and the Kanagawa International Art Festival. The range of her music activities is diverse. She expresses her talents in music production and recording. This includes music with Damo Suzuki (CAN) and Butoh Semaru (Sankai Juku). In addition, she supports vocalists such as Hoshino Gen, Taxi Saudade and Masakatsu Takagi. Azusa also conducts workshops that can be enjoyed by parents and children alike that cover making musical instruments and sharing music experiences.

Pearl Alexander

Pearl Alexander is a graduate of the University of Michigan where she studied double bass performance under Dr. Diana Gannett. Since moving to Tokyo in 2009, she has performed with musicians of many genres including Azusa Yamada, Akira Sakata, Rovo (Seiichi Yamamoto), Tavito Nanao, Tetsu Saitoh, Toshimaru Nakamura, Carl Stone, Hiromichi Sakamoto and Yuji Katsui, as well as dancers from Sankai Juku, Dairakudakan, Batsheva and Pina Bausch. She performed on Tetsu Saitoh’s bass ensemble album Gen311. She also released an album featuring a live solo recording of double bass and voice. She played on two modern music recordings while at the University of Michigan. One of those recordings, Songs of Innocence and Experience conducted by Leonard Slatkin, won 3 Grammy Awards in 2006.
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Azusa Yamada and Pearl Alexander at Sakaiki 2015 (2015)

Azusa Yamada, Alexander, Yamada

Pearl Alexander, Azusa Yamada

    Prairie Audio Mancave

The bowing and string plucking of Pearl Alexander’s contrabass juxtapositioned against Azusa Yamada’s marimba are so ethereal and abstract, in one sense, and so palpable on the other. I close my eyes and they stand ten feet in front of me, but in a magnified soundstage. The rosined bow rubbing across strings -- one moment resonnant and full, the other squealing, squeaking and protesting while Yamada’s frenetic, dextrous strikes of her mallet (called knobs) on the marimaba’s wood bars over pipes (or resonators) below produce the lush tones flitting about with verve; at once, it’s more melodic, dancing on the scales with aplomb. Spare vocal intonations by Alexander appear, conjuring up Pat Metheny Group’s Pedro Aznar in the 80s ever so briefly. Their dance, their dialog is conveyed in vivid, vibrant textures. It’s transfixing, the Lampizator Lite 7 DSD DAC in DSD 128 Stereo with their Super Komputer server capturing the performance -- and Seigen Ono’s masterful recording -- in real space. The polite clapping at the end reminds me that this is indeed a live recording at a tea ceremony. Somehow, I feel I should be wearing a blazer and tie right about now.

Juan Ayllon[read full review]

Azusa Yamada and Pearl Alexander at Sakaiki 2015 (2015)

Azusa Yamada, Alexander, Yamada

Pearl Alexander, Azusa Yamada

Mastering Engineer: Seigen Ono (live recording)
Producer: Seigen Ono
Recording Engineer: Seigen Ono
Recording Software: DSD

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SDSD1036: Azusa Yamada and Pearl Alexander at Sakaiki 2015
838:59:59   Select quality & channels above
Tracks.
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Hana
Azusa Yamada
00:02:22   Select quality & channels above
2.
Tori
Alexander
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3.
Kaze
Yamada,Alexander
00:35:16   Select quality & channels above
4.
September Choral
Yamada
00:02:40   Select quality & channels above
5.
Tsuki
Yamada,Alexander
00:20:02   Select quality & channels above

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