Miles Okazaki: Waves




Miles Okazaki (electric guitar)


Generations (Sunnyside Communications SSC 1214)

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Miles Okazaki (electric guitar), Dan Weiss (drums), David Binney (alto sax),

Jen Shyu (voice), Miguel Zenón (alto saxophone), Christof Knoche (alto saxophone), Jon Flaugher (acoustic bass)


Composed by Miles Okazaki


Recorded: Brooklyn NY, September 2008


Rating: 87/100 (learn more)

“Waves” might well refer to the way the elongated progression of chords repeats over and again, and like ocean waves crashing on the beach, never with quite the same intensity as the prior one. This chord progression goes through three distinct phases, starting with a soft tempo and moving to progressively more rapid ones.

The self-effacing Okazaki is more interested in seeing his composition fully realized than to be the star player on his own recording. He gives the star role to his three alto players, who appear not together but in succession. Zenón’s sax moans passionately through the initial, soft section, while Knoche begins his solo slower but works himself up to even greater intensity. Binney’s lines are the most thoughtful of the three. However, like Knoche, he pushes himself to the outer limits of his horn, until the song comes crashing to a halt, leaving the lonely, wordless voice of Shyu left to softly transition this number into the next one.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron


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