Spring Break: Day 1/ SAITO Tetsu
All work and no play does help with tenure, but would drive me insane, so I went at night to hear jazz contrabassists Testu Saitoh and Nobuyoshi Ino in concert at the Doris Duke Theatre. It is part of the 4th Biennial Hawaii Contrabass Festival. To be honest, I was in the mood for something straight ahead jazz a la Mingus, rather than something free and avant-garde. Alas, the music was quite free, but I came to love it almost immediately. My favorite piece was called “Ombak Hitak Ryukyu,” which started with them imitating the sound of waves on the bass, and later including part of an Okinawan folk song. Except for one funked-out Astor Piazzola piece, the rest of their pieces were Saitoh originals. His sound is something like an eclectic mélange of worldmusic, Pendercki, Cage, Late Mingus, Pärt, Glass, etc. It worked very well. I was pleased that most of the audience stayed, as this kind of sound usually empties Honolulu crowds. Alas, now it is time to go back to work (well, maybe after ramen).