With nearly two decades of musical collaboration behind them, these two sonic explorers took over the vacant top floor of the historic Woolworth’s building in downtown Bakersfield on February 17, 2023 to record this focused and deeply contemplative set of improvisations. The recording has been carefully engineered to preserve the extraordinary live acoustics and the natural reverb of the all-concrete space.
"An intimate setting leads to an intimate recording from the duo of Kris Tiner and Tatsuya Nakatani. Situated in a concrete room in a historical building, the trumpeter and percussionist interact as much with the open space as they do with one another, their sounds slowly filling the room while simultaneously entering a state of sonic unity. A sense of peacefulness prevails over all, and its periodic spikes in volatility are similar to the way the noisy chatter of crickets and owls actively contribute to the serenity of a moonlit night."
– Dave Sumner, The Best Jazz on Bandcamp, August 2023
"The music is deeply introspective, even in its louder moments, and is simply beautiful. The subtle drama of Tiner’s spare and well-paced lines take on sharp definition in the room; they float over and around Nakatani’s nimble counterpoint... Tiner and Nakatani prove themselves to be perfectly matched in this set of transportive music."
– Daniel Barbiero, Avant Music News
"Trumpeter/flugelhornist Kris Tiner and percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani occupied a vacant Bakersfield Woolworth's to address its unique acoustics, and the walls spoke back. Buildings absorb the emotions of their occupants; it requires only two such seasoned listeners to open a conversation. We hear the loneliness of the desert, the wrangle of dispute, the elbowing of holiday sales, the hopes, the failures, the saws of renovations that have passed their hours on this stage since the store was opened in 1949. And of course, Tiner and Nakatani converse with each other as well, making themselves members of an infinite ensemble. A very human experience."
– Greg Burk, MetalJazz
"The album is one of intense calm and precision, using the power of their instruments and musical vision focused on the perfection of the delivery, the clarity of the sound, the emotional depth, the quality of the listening. When you hear the beauty of their intimate co-creation, it's the result of the long experience of both musicians to perform in duo settings over the past years, as if their musical voice can only come properly to the fore when starting from a very direct human interaction. Tiner's tone is unusually warm, welcoming and deeply felt. Remarkably, also Nakatani's percussion skills allows for heart-piercing moments of emotional distress, by using his kobo-bow, a bow specifically designed by him to give a different level of power than when using a bow produced for strings. The great third performer on this album is the space of the room, and both musicians use it not only for purposes of resonance, but also as its presence of silence, the space between the sounds, the emptyness that provides depth and perspective... This one is absolutely excellent."
– Stef Gijssels, The Free Jazz Collective
"Album of the year: 'The Magic Room' – First off, this release will not be for everyone but I honestly believe that anyone can appreciate the floating, almost dreamlike, beauty of this album. Recorded on one of the upper floors of the downtown Woolworth's building by Aum Studio's Brian Boozer, "The Magic Room" is an improvised set of pieces created by trumpetist Kris Tiner and his fellow "sound painter" percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani. If you listen closely, there is a nonstop sense of motion even as Tiner's trumpet and Nakatani's bowed gongs sustain long tones creating textured and surprising harmonies. It's always flowing and never static. There are no songs on this album, just track listings, each with their own mood and color. It's a remarkable release and I truly believe Grammy Award-worthy."
– Cesareo Garasa, The Bakersfield Californian
released August 4, 2023
Kris Tiner - trumpet and flugelhorn
Tatsuya Nakatani - percussion
Recorded and mixed by Brian Boozer, Aum Studio Productions.
Photos by Brian Boozer, design by Kris Tiner.
Epigraph Records is devoted to the documentation of new improvisational and creative music recorded in Bakersfield,
California. Our releases spotlight boundary-pushing local artists along with innovative and unclassifiable musicians from around the globe....more