Tamura/Sharp/Kato/Fujii In the Tank

Guitarists Takayuki Kato and Elliot Sharp are front and centre in this beautifully recorded four-track free improv session. Kato’s cornucopia of altered and looped sounds gives his cohorts a sonic landscape in which to let loose. Pianist/composer Fujii, who normally works in the contemporary big band jazz field, seems utterly at home in this unstructured environment, as she is a well-spring of rhythmic motifs that act as a catalyst, by turns prodding, pulling, and pummelling. Trumpter Tamura comes across as somewhat tentative, but when he feels solid ground under himself, he splurts, splatters, arcs and angles, deftly weaving his bell-clear tone into the tapestry of electronic sounds. Best known to North American audiences, Elliot Sharp — an iconoclast’s iconoclast — contributes the heaviest presence, with some intensely searing guitars, and even a few minutes of Oswaldian saxophone moments on soprano. Like much free improv, there are some dead spots that lack focus, motion or ideas. That said, In the Tank is a recorded document that bears up under repeated listening. (Libra)