"A Drum Thing is more than a thing; it is a new milestone in the already so colorful career of Tony Overwater and Atzko Kohashi. And it sounds fantastic, undoubtedly due to the recording technique applied, but certainly also because of the confidence with which Atzko & Tony treat their instruments."
Atzko Kohashi - piano
Tony Overwater - double bass
Total time: 48:27
Original recording format DXD 352kHz-24bit.
Mastered by an HQ analog chain to PCM768kHz-32bit.
All other formats are converted versions of the original master.
I have been fortunate to witness Atzko and Tony develop their sound as I was there recording their very first sessions playing together. Atzko and Tony are in complete balance musically while at the same time keeping their distinct individuality.
It is always a pleasure to listen to and record them. With the recording set up for this session, I wanted to capture this musical balance; unity and individuality.
My trusty Josephson C700 serie microphones, as the main microphones captures both instruments and creates the basic sound stage. In the piano, a Josephson C700S combined with two Josephson C617 omnidirectional microphones above the hammers adds a touch of attack. For the double bass, at the height of the plucking hand, a Josephson C700A adds a little bit of definition.
Much listening pleasure to you all, Frans
A DRUM THING
“Playing Jazz is like building a sandcastle on the beach.” I once had such a conversation with Tony after a rehearsal. You remember how you built those sandcastles as a child, just madly building them, forgetting the time passing and not even hearing someone calling for you.....soon the waves come and wash away the sandcastle, but you don’t care. You’ll just build a new one tomorrow because the process of building is just so much fun.
Perhaps the same can be said of our rehearsals. As we come up with ideas, we deepen our understanding of the songs, explore our sound, and develop the music, just like scooping up handfuls of sand and pilling it up. However, just as even the most beautifully constructed sandcastle will eventually be swept away by the waves, our music evaporates into the air as soon as it is produced.
It is a transitory thing. We cannot keep the notes we played in rehearsals, nor do we need to play the same way again. Jazz is the music of improvisation, not the music of reproducing the same thing. With different ideas and spontaneous inventions, the same song is played differently each time. The process of creating music in this way is enjoyable and meaningful.
You may have noticed that the repertoire on this album features many songs composed by drummers, but are ironically played by our duo of piano and bass. Somehow, while playing their songs, I feel like traveling freely through a world without borders. Exotic melodies remind me of folk music from different regions, and as I listen to them, my mind wanders to the West, the East, and sometimes to my nostalgic homeland, Japan.
The day of the recording session was like a whole new page for us, with a fresh mind and a free spirit. Many of the songs on this album turned out to be unexpected performances that we could not have imagined during rehearsals. And....how lucky we are that our “sandcastles” did not disappear, only to be captured on this album through the recording!
There is one instrument that connects all cultures around the world, it’s the oldest instrument too, the drum. Drummers are the heartbeat of the music. Without rhythm, music would be organized sound. Rhythm organizes music in time. It is elementary for the hypnotizing effect of music. It’s a drum thing.
One of the most influential musical encounters I had, was with the legendary Free Jazz drummer Sunny Murray. I was 25 and just graduated from the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. I followed all my history lessons but never did I come as close to history as in my friendship with Sunny Murray. Here I share the stage, the car, the train, and apartments with someone who was living Jazz history himself and told me first-hand stories about giants like John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Jimmy Garrison, Albert Ayler, and many others. I soaked it up like a sponge and it formed me in many ways.
Sunny was a mysterious drummer, it was not his feel for rhythm or time that made him famous but his magic in the free space, his sound, his energy, his presence. We played together for some years and became good friends.
He always took care of me like a father and pushed me to my musical and emotional limits. He taught me the intensity needed for free music. Every beat, and every note counts and should come from deep within. He was a composer too, not of the kind of songs I was used to but simple stepwise melodies that had a haunting beauty.
One of these songs, ‘Angel Voice’ made it to my first album ‘Up Close’, and also to this album in a very different version. His composition contains qualities that other drummers/composers also possess; an open mind that is not primarily directed to harmony, form, and melody. A more intuitive approach towards music. This appealed to both Atzko and me so much that we decided to dedicate this album to the drummer as a composer and for their universal contribution to music. We had an unbelievably good time making these songs our own and creating this album. Now we hope you will have a similar experience.
Recording, mixing and mastering by Frans de Rond
Recorded at MCO Studio 2, The Netherlands, on December15th 2022
Produced by Atzko Kohashi & Tony Overwater
Piano tuning: Naomi van Schoot
Piano - Josephson C700S, Josephson C617 (2x) & Extinct BM9 (2x)
Bass - Josephson C700A, Neumann M149
Mic-pre's: Merging Horus
Cables by AudioQuest
Speakers: TAD Compact Evolution One
Poweramp: Moon 760A
Mixing headphones: Hifiman HE1000se / Sennheiser HD800S
Photo of front cover by Tony Overwater
Design of front cover by Odesign.nl
Catalog Number: SL-1065A