One of the world’s great jazz innovators here using guitar effects for the first time in ages and a year on from the release of his inspirational Monk project Work guitarist Miles Okazaki grounded in MBASE and pushing towards stellar regions unknown has a new album out later this month called The Sky Below stocked with original compositions. Listen to a couple of tracks from the album which will be put out by a label that he has been on for a while, Pi. Check out some of the very erudite literary sleeve notes that Okazaki has written on his website, for instance for a taste of his thinking. He explains the fifth track called ‘Monstropolous’ along these lines:

“The monstropolous beast had left his bed. The two hundred miles a hour wind had loosed his chains. He seized hold of his dikes and ran forward until he met the quarters; uprooted them like grass and rushed on after his supposed-to-be conquerors, rolling the dikes, rolling the houses, rolling the people in the houses along with other timbers. The sea was walking the earth with a heavy heel.”

– Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

The tempest arrives, erasing the boundary between land and sea. Water creatures washed ashore, land creatures pulled into the depths. For New Orleans.”


Okazaki draws on earlier album Trickster, according to the official description “reduced them to their basic components, and rewrote new compositions from this genetic material to carry on the story to a new generation with symbolic and sonic continuity.”

The band is interesting: Okazaki with Tim Berne pianist Matt Mitchell; the Brit long-time US-based Quite Sane bass guitarist and long time Steve Coleman sideman Anthony Tidd; and another MBASE family member – Sean Rickman on drums. Look for the full album on 25 October.