Yoriyki Harada - Naoji Kondo (Japan):
Yoriyuki Harada - p;
The duo is ascribed to the elite of Japanese free jazz scene. It is unique in terms of its music and its approach to music making.
Yorijuki Harada (b. 1948) is a self-taught pianist. He graduated from the Kunitachi Music College as a clarinettist, but before long started feeling dissatisfaction with strict canons of classical music. Upon graduation, he and his schoolmate and improvisation partner Kazutoki Umezu went to New York, where they made their first recording at Seikatsu Koujon linkai New York Branch.
After returning to Japan in 1976, the two friends formed Shudan-Sokai quartet with Mori Junji and Kikuchi Takashi. Two years later they have gathered together other compatriots and the quartet grew into Seikatsu-Kojo-iinkai Orchestra, the collective that earned recognition throughout Japan for its humorous appearances.
After quitting his work in the Orchestra, Yoriyuki Harada collaborated with Andrew Cyrille, Tristan Honsinger, Henry Grimes, Tobias Delius, Togashi Masahiko and many other improvisers.
However, he has never tried to live from music or seek any type of support from the music industry because this would be boring. For almost 30 years Yoriyuki Harada has performed in Japan just once a month and only in his favourite venue – jazz club Aketa-no-mise. According to the pianist, to appear more often would be difficult, because every performance requires a special inner state. He does not own piano, since he decided to come into contact with the instrument only on stage.
Japanese critics call him “Monster pianist”. When he is on stage it is full of sweat and emotion, his fingers dash on the keyboard like a lightning bolt. “I never have any motif in my music and I never think about my music”, says Harada. But the audiences chew on his performances long after they are over.
Naoji Kondo has been involved in free jazz since he was a schoolboy. However, this has not held back the saxophonist from seeking a career of a psychoanalyst and becoming a practicing specialist.
Naoji Kondo has worked in Nonaka Goku & Ningenkokuho formation, he also appears as a guest musician with Shibusashirazu Orchestra. The saxophonist participated in Sergey Kuryokhin International Festival (Russia), Moers Jazz Festival (Germany) and various festivals in Japan, toured in Korea, and recorded several CDs.