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Listen: exclusive Akira Sakata track

March 2014

Stream a track made during the recording of the veteran Japanese free jazz saxophonist's new album with Giovanni Di Domenico, Irmun

Over the last four decades, Japanese saxophonist Akira Sakata has gone through multiple life cycles, from marine biologist to free jazz saxophonist, TV celebrity to harsh noise performer.

Speaking with James Hadfield in The Wire 362, Sakata says about the early 1960s in Japan: “I came to Tokyo in the same year The Yosuke Yamashita Trio started. There were lots of people around then: Masahiko Satoh, Masayuki Takayanagi, Kaoru Abe, Motoharu Yoshizawa, Masahiko Togashi. It was kind of a dream environment for free jazz.

“Even now, I might be making a living as a musician, but the music itself isn’t the goal, it’s about growing through the music – about improving yourself as a person. I want to see how much I can refine myself before I die... Of course, I want to improve as a player, I want to make good music, but at the heart of it I’m really thinking about being a better human being. John Coltrane was the first person who made me realise that.”

Akira Sakata & Giovanni Di Domenico’s Iruman is out on the Mbari label

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