Monday, February 25, 2008
A celebrated jazz clarinetist in the 1950s, Tony Scott started collaborating with Japanese artists on a trip he made to the country in 1959. He returned in 1964 to teach classes in American jazz and ended up collaborating with koto player Shinichi Yuize and shakuhachi flute player Hozan Yamamoto on a dozen improvised collaborations. Based on the Zen concept of beginner's mind, a state of openness that leads to exploration, the Scott-led pieces predate the more modern concept of "ambient" by a good couple of decades--but, as music descended from temples and designed to ease the mind to a state of higher consciousness, it follows many of the same directives. The gentle clarinet is complemented by the flute, with the koto--a 13-stringed zither--providing a comfortable contrast, though all three musicians appear on only a single track, the opening "Is Not All One?"