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by Miles Okazaki

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snowbrain thumbnail
snowbrain Love the free flowingness… hits a nice sweet spot between toe tapping and zone shifting… nice mixing of instruments… can’t wait to see Miles and Anthony with Steve Coleman in Seattle/Olympia with Emerald City Music.
cherub420 thumbnail
cherub420 Like eavesdropping on a growing stream of consciousness, some of these riffs and harmonies feel written in the spur of the moment; never to be played the same way twice. This is what I love most about jazz.
Philip Graham
Philip Graham thumbnail
Philip Graham Love the inventive flow of this--that cover art says it all.
Ben Barg
Ben Barg thumbnail
Ben Barg Miles Okazaki returns to lush textures reminiscent of Mirror, but adds in more polyphony.

Also the album art and song titles really send me :).
maxfrantz thumbnail
maxfrantz just got the cd and: vocals, robots!? can't wait to listen!
dafreed thumbnail
dafreed Excited to give this a listen
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $12 USD  or more


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes in a 6 panel CD wallet with 16 page booklet

    Includes unlimited streaming of Thisness via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days
    Purchasable with gift card

      $14 USD or more 




"convulsive beauty, propulsive rhythm, elusive meaning...a spontaneous and unpredictable work of art, accordingly discordant, subversively accordant, a pendulum crushing the cage of temporality. This is Surrealism in practice. This is jazz. This is freedom."
- from the liner notes by Robin D.G. Kelley

Thisness is Miles Okazaki's third volume of compositions for Trickster, a quartet featuring Matt Mitchell on piano, Anthony Tidd on bass, and Sean Rickman on drums. The album is a set of themes that are shuffled and connected in different ways to make four large movements. Okazaki describes the process in the liner notes:

"Our previous albums were made up of what I would simply call "songs," but for this project I decided to expand the format. The intention was to make something like an exquisite corpse, the collective improvisations developed by the Surrealists. So for this album my job as composer was to bring in some ideas, set them in motion and then listen, trying to recognize the value of serendipitous events at transitional points in the music and lead the band down whatever path may be opening. The borderlands are where the Trickster hangs out, the undefined space where logic dissolves and creativity thrives. My hope was that the listener would enjoy the experience of passing through these boundaries between contrasting episodes."

The music draws on a few sources of inspiration that have connected creative elements: a magical "far off place" called Salt Creek, from a watercolor by Linda Okazaki, the writings on Surrealism by Robin D.G. Kelley, architectural concepts from producer David Breskin, and the poetry of Sun Ra. The idea that this band has been working toward since their first album is most fully realized on Thisness, a sound that discards notions of logic and control and strives toward something more like collective dreaming.


released April 29, 2022

Miles Okazaki – Guitar, Vocals, Robots
Matt Mitchell– Piano, Fender Rhodes, Prophet-6
Anthony Tidd– Electric Bass
Sean Rickman– Drums


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Miles Okazaki New York

Miles Okazaki is a NYC based guitarist. The New York Times calls his approach “utterly contemporary, free from the expectations of what it means to play a guitar in a group setting — not just in jazz, but any kind.” His credits include Kenny Barron, John Zorn, Steve Coleman, Dan Weiss, Matt Mitchell, Jonathan Finlayson, Mary Halvorson, Stanley Turrentine, Amir ElSaffar, and Jane Monheit. ... more

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