• Craig Taborn, piano
  • Miles Okazaki, guitar
  • Anthony Tidd, bass
  • Sean Rickman, drums

  • Trickster (Pi Recordings, 2017).
  • Figurations (Sunnyside, 2012).
  • Generations (2009).
  • Mirror (2006).
Miles Okazaki's TRICKSTER
Miles Okazaki Quartet
Miles Okazaki - Trickster. photo:

Trickster is guitarist Miles Okazaki’s first album in five years and his much anticipated debut on Pi Recordings, having been featured on six other releases in the label’s catalog in groups led by Steve Coleman, Jonathan Finlayson, and Dan Weiss, along with associations with other Pi artists such as Matt Mitchell, Jen Shyu, and Amir ElSaffar. Perhaps best-known as a member of Steve Coleman and Five Elements, with whom he has played for the last eight years, Okazaki has also built a solid reputation for himself as one of the most adventurous composers and guitarists on the current scene. The New York Times says of Okazaki, “Even by the standard of his hyper-literate post-bop peer group, Mr. Okazaki is an unusually calculating musical thinker,” and as a guitarist, “exceedingly skilled with a head for rhythmic convolution.”

Miles Okazaki - 'Trickster'
Miles Okazaki / 'Trickster' (2017)

For his new music, Okazaki decided to use Anthony Tidd on bass and Sean Rickman on drums, the long-running rhythmic engine and his bandmates in Steve Coleman and Five Elements, with whom he has performed with hundreds of times. Its a fascinating opportunity to hear their unique chemistry — the quicksilver ability to process and internalize complex information, transform musical material

Through improvisation, and do it all while staying “in the pocket” — in a wholly different context. Both Tidd and Rickman have deep roots in funk, R&B, and hip hop, and it is fascinating to hear Okazaki’s music through the filter of these musical sensibilities. Okazaki’s next call went to pianist Craig Taborn, perhaps the most widely-admired pianist on the cutting-edge of jazz, who brings a supremely inventive musical sense to everything he plays. Together they have created a breakthrough statement by Okazaki, a unified book of compositions that grooves from beginning to end.


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