Aki Takase

Japanese jazz pianist and composer

She studied music at Tohogakuen Music University in Tokyo, she performed and recorded in the USA / Japan with Lester Bowie, David Liebman, Cecil McBee, Bob Moses, Joe Henderson, John Zorn and others.

1981 at the Jazz Festival in the philharmony of Berlin with Takeo Moriyama and Nobuyoshi Ino. Since then she has been touring extensively all over the worlds. She performed repeatedly at the Berlin Jazz Festival in Germany. Since 1987she lives in Berlin.
Intensive works with Alexander von Schlippenbach „Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra“, in Trio with Rashied Ali and Reggie Workman,
in Stringquintet with Tristan Honsinger (a.o), W.C Handy Project with Fred Frith (a.o), in duets with David Murray, Maria Joao, N. H.Ö. Pedersen .
„Plays Fats Waller“, „Projects with Eugene Chadbourne, Rudi Mahall, Nils Wogram and Paul Lovens.

„Berliner Zeitung“Award (the best Artists of 1999 in the Berlin Newspaper).
1997-2000 guest professor at Hanns Eisler music university in Berlin.
„The „SWR Jazz“ Award 2002.
„The German Record Critics „ Award (1988- 2009) she is awarded 8 times until now .
1990 “Play Ballads of Duke Ellington” Duo w/ Gunther Klatt (Tutu 888116)
1991 “Shima Shoka” Piano solo (Enja 6062)
1994 “Blue Monk” Duo w/ David Murray(Enja 7039)
1998 “Duet for Eric Dolphy” Duo w/ Rudi Mahall (enja 9109-2)
2002 ” St. Louis Blues” w/ “W.C.Handy Projekt” (Enja 9130-2)
2004 “Aki Takase Plays Fats Waller” (Jahrespreis 2004 der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik)(Enja 9152-2)
2008 ” Something sweet, something tender” Piano solo (Enja 9188-2)
2009 ” Yokohama“ with Louis Sclavis (Intakt 165)

The latest Projects:

“New Blues Project”: w/ Eugene Chadbourne, Rudi Mahall, Nils Wogram, Han Bennink

” LA PLANETE” w/ Louis Sclavis, Vincent Courtois, Dominique Pifarely

” Aki and the Good Boys” w/ Rudi Mahall, Tobias Delius, Johannes Fink, Heinrich Köbberling

” LOK.03 ” w/ Alex v. Schlippenbach and DJ ILLVibe

” KANON” w/ Axel Dörner, Kazuhisa Uchihashi

“In Duo ” with Rudi Mahall, Louis Sclavis, Alex von Schlippenbach, Han Bennink

“Klang und Texte ” (“Reading and Music” performance) w/ Yoko Tawada

Dance Projects :”CADENZA” Duo Performance w / Yui Kawaguchi

Aki Takase “My Ellington” Solo Performance

Aki Takase’s phenomenal technique and her talent for improvisation is well known, as is her love for the jazz classics. She has already paid tribute to Fats Waller and recorded with saxophonist Silke Eberhard an “Ornette Coleman Anthology”. Now she takes a close look at the arguably most influential jazz pianist of the jazz tradition: Duke Ellington.

Aki Takase examines Ellington’s playing from numerous angles throughout the album and within each track. Rather than quote or paraphrase Ellington compositions to contextualize this idea, Takase concentrates on the building blocks of his piano vocabulary – the articulations, voicings and devices that convey colors and fragrances. As a result, she sets a wealth of stylistic markers afloat, untethered to an Ellington composition, where they can be heard anew. Bill Shoemaker writes in the liner notes: “What cannot be overstated is Takase’s depth of feeling here and throughout My Ellington; it is something rare and profound.”