Originally released in 1983 on the cult Aketa’s Disk label, Topology captures a surprising yet fascinating and engaging collaboration between a young Japanese jazz pianist and an elder American statesman of jazz.
Reissued by BBE Music for the first time since original release 36 years ago, Topology showcases the extraordinary compositional and playing skill of Makoto Terashita, the young pianist responsible for five of the album’s six tracks, alongside the confident and seasoned tones of Harold Land, respected US veteran sax player and former colleague of some of the leading jazz artists of the 50s, 60s and 70s including Max Roach, Clifford Brown, Gerald Wilson and Bobby Hutcherson.
By the time he came to record with Terashita in 1983, Land was in his mid-50s and had numerous album credits under his belt, including some twelve albums as leader. In contrast, Terashita was in his early 30s with just one album to his name, his stunning 1978 debut Great Harvest. Notwithstanding the apparent disparity in experience, the creative relationship they fostered is audibly evident in the wonderful music that was captured during the recording session.
Topology kicks off with ‘Dragon Dance’, an epic spiritual jazz tour de force elegantly ushered in by an extended solo piano introduction from Terashita. This track was chosen to open volume 2 of BBE’s universally praised ‘J Jazz’ compilation. The energy and impact of tracks like ‘Dragon Dance’ and the powerful bop of ‘Crossing’- both Terashitsa-penned numbers – is balanced by more nuanced and reflective tracks like Land’s own composition ‘World Peace’. In total, Topology presents the listener with a complete experience of two musicians from different generations and countries united in musical spirit.
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