Sabu Toyozumi

Yoshisaburo Toyozumi (born Tsurumi Yokohama in 1943) was one of the pioneers of Japanese free music. He recorded and played with many of the most important figures in Japanese free music, including Kaoru Abe and Masayuki Takaanagi. This is one of the few remaining members of this group who continue to play this music today. Toyozumi is featured on many commercially available recordings. He has been recorded with some of the most prominent international and Japanese improvising musicians, including Derek Bailey and Mototeru Takagi. Peter Brotzmann and Keiji Haino. Fred Van Hove and Tom Cora are also among them. He was the first non-American member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). His first album, Sabu – Message to Chicago, was dedicated to compositions of AACM members. He also toured with Wadada LeoSmith, AACM trumpeter, in 1992. Toyozumi was instrumental in bringing many American and European improvisers to Japan, including Misha Mengelberg, Sunny Murray, and Derek Bailey. John Russell, a British promoter and improvising guitarist, organized a two-day event in 2005 to honor Toyozumi. The drummer performed with 14 musicians from London’s improvised music scene, including Lol Coxhill and Phil Minton. The Wire said that his playing was this way: “He’s busy but there’s always room between his notes, he avoids flashy technical solutions to musical problems, and he’s not too flashy.” His playing is dramatic and crisp, with the occasional repetition of a phrase to create a climax. Toyozumi appears to be able to pose awkward questions to a drum set if it is possible. Interview with Cadence Magazine 1988. Toyozumi discusses the importance of his relationship to nature. Clive Bell, writing in The Wire 2005, notes that “his devotion towards the way of Watazumido (the late shakuhachi player/zen master) whose performances combined martial arts with music in a bizarre mix of discipline and craziness.” He returned to London in 2009 to play as one of the participants in Russell’s improvisation festival Fete Quaqua, which was broadcast by BBC Radio 3. He continues to travel widely, having performed over the past year in Belgium, France,Chile and Taiwan, as well as in England, England, Philippines, and Chile. He performs occasionally with Hijokaidan, a legendary Japanese noise band. He can currently be found playing the drums and performing on the erhu, a Chinese two-stringed violin. From Wikipedia

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