Natsuki Tamura – trumpet | Satoko Fujii – accordion | Kazuhiko Tsumura – guitar | Norikatsu Koreyasu – bass
Recorded on September 14, 2011 by Masao Misuze at Otaya Kintoki, Tokyo. Mastered on October 5, 2011 by Scott Hull at Masterdisk, NYC. Executive producer: Satoko Fujii. Artwork: Ichiji Tamura. Design: Masako Tanaka. Photography: Itsuya Nishikawa
Tracklist: 1. Moor [8:09] 2. Court [9:10] 3. Hokkaido [9:42] 4. Waseda [5:28] 5. Nishiogi [8:29] 6. Japan [5:15] 7. World [4:40] 8. Forever [8:38]
This CD “Forever” is the fifth album released by Gato Libre
and sadly, the final one by the group in its original lineup. Bassist Norikatsu Koreyasu suddely passed away in September 2011. No doubt he is out there somewhere, making a fool of himself even as he makes great music.
Gato Libre started as a duo consisting of Koreyasu and me. In venues like Knuttel House in Kappabashi, Tokyo, we explored the radical combination of trumpet and bass as we attempted to make music that was unaffected, not necessarily dramatic, but plaintive and maybe a bit mysterious. Later we added guitar and accordion and began performing under the name Gato Libre. But when I fist pictured playing in a duo with a bassist, someone with a deep, compelling siund and a broad musical vision, I immediately thought of Koreyasu.
So we began recording, then touring in Japan, and eventually overseas … admittedly a though schedule, but even so, Koreyasu’s whining was incessant. He seemed to have a year-round cold, and was always saying, “I don’t feel good …This is too hard … “Normally you’d expect someone feeling under the weather to be quieter than usual, bot not Koreyasu. “This is no time of night to be aeting dinner!” he’d gripe – then, when he got to the restaurant, he’d order more food than anyone else. And afterward, he’d complain that he had a stomach ache from overeating.
“Wake me up when you go down to breakfast. I don’t like eating breakfast alone,” he’d say – then, when I phoned him in the morning, it would be, “Huh? Breakfast? Nah, I’m going to sleep some more.” An exasperating fellow. But when this same Koreyasu got on stage and began to play, he produced a sound that enthralled audiences around the world. When he performed, he so deeply immersed himself in the music that he drew everyone along with him. Cheers of “Wonderful!” and “Amazing!” greeted him wherever we went.
Listening to him from my vantage point on the same stage, I was often just as moved as the audience. Damn, that’s a nice sound, I’d say to myself.
I don’t think there is another bassist who cares as much about his sound as Koreyasu did. I believe he was able to create the music he did precisely because he had an ideal sound in his mind that he pursued relentlessy. Even after a gig was over, he would still be fiddling around, trying this and that to get an even better sound. How many musician do that?
He created a sound, and a music, that was utterly devoid of lies. To Norikatsu Koreyasu, our eternally beloved musical fool, we dedicate “Forever.” — Natsuki Tamura
Norikatsu Koreyasu | Photo by Joze Pozrl
CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)