Aki Takase, the Berlin-based pianist, is one of the great personalities
of modern jazz. Moments of freedom, form and humour
characterize this stylistically versatile avant-gardist, the stubborn
virtuoso who toys with jazz traditions.
In the year of her 70th birthday, Aki Takase was honoured with
The Berlin Jazz Prize. Recorded over two days at the Sendesaal
Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg, the album includes some pieces
captured live during the award ceremony, and some recorded in a
studio setting in the same historic room. The piece Bach Factory
features Alexander von Schlippenbach as a guest and the Japanese
author Yoko Tawada appears on Hokahoka Hokosai.
Aki Takase is inspired by the Japanese painter Katsushika Hokusai.
For Aki Takase, Hokusai was a hugely passionate and brilliant
artist with an experimental mind who lived only with and for his
paintings. “Hokusai showed so many directions in painting, which
is why I wanted to convey various colours in improvisation. Music
is like a colour. For me, red and light-blue are gentle colours.
These were the colours that I felt. That’s my internal landscape.
I feel a strong connection to Hokusai.”