New album TRICKSTER available now on Pi Recordings


Pitchfork: “During performances like these, it’s clear that this bandleader is interested in the unstable realm of rhythm and melody, the place where it’s easy to get lost. Though he won’t leave you lost for long. . . After a stretch of roaming around in an attractive darkness, you get one clear payoff after another. During the brisk “Caduceus,” the interplay between Tidd, Taborn, and Okazaki results in glorious braids of melody. . . The execution is obviously complex, the work of virtuosi. But the resulting beauty is easy to appreciate. . . . While Okazaki can be plenty entertaining as a master of misdirection, he also has a gift for direct communication.”

The Wall Street Journal: “In this age of individually downloadable tracks, Mr. Okazaki offers a true concept album . . .Throughout, his consistently clear and gorgeously warm guitar tone is one anchor for his music. Yet this is first and foremost communal expression, leaning on partners well up to the task and closely acquainted with one another. Together, these four musicians simultaneously build and deconstruct alluringly complex forms, as befits the legacies of both timeless tricksters and modern jazz musicians.”

Bandcamp: “What’s particularly intriguing about the newest release from guitarist Miles Okazaki is how the motion of each piece triggers individual and distinct imagery: the shuffle of a card deck on “Kudzu,” the ocean spray against glass on “Eating Earth,” the endless scarves yanked from the musician’s sleeve on “Box in a Box,” and darting fish evading the hook on “The Calendar“ are visions whose DNA is traced back to rhythmic origins.”

JazzTimes “Editor’s Pick”: “. . . the Washington State native demonstrates on Trickster, his terrific, unfailingly enjoyable new album, he is a powerful individualist. His signature is the freshness of his ideas and the natural ease with which he and a crack quartet advance them. . . With it’s blend of tricky ideas and deep feeling, Trickster sounds like a real breakthrough.”

Downbeat “Editor’s Pick”: “. . .among his bravest and most artistically ambitious recordings to date . . . Trickster is an intellectually hefty album that feels weightless — a neat trick, and the perfect first step for listeners just beginning their ascent into the avant-garde.” 

WBGO: “There isn’t a rhythmic matrix or harmonic enigma that falls outside the realm of comprehension for guitarist-composer Miles Okazaki . . . beguiling new quartet album.”

The Los Angeles Times: “With each twist, the album’s odd-angled ventures offer a new reflection of the music’s roots in jazz, funk and blues. Tricky stuff.”

El Intruso: “Miles Okazaki, en el magnífico Trickster, manifiesta valor para desprenderse de certezas, aceptar riesgos creativos y cruzar nuevas fronteras musicales. Y, por cierto, lo hace con autoridad y convicción.”

All About Jazz Italy: “Un disco sorprendente, che unisce con naturalezza temi immediati a inusuali sviluppi armonici e ritmici, senza perdere mai di vista il groove.”

NextBop: “this band maintains an energy that practically hypnotizes . . . unfailingly compelling.”

Financial Times: “a latticework of bouncy rhythms, twisty melodies and harmonic structures”

JazzScene: “Okazaki pushes himself and his bandmates to put heady musical concepts in service of new forms of expression.” 

Textura: “It’s also a rare moment when all four aren’t contributing, yet never does the playing feel overcrowded or unfocused.”

Stereogum: “Okazaki’s an eruptive guitarist, but not a shredder; notes explode off the strings in bursts, but his phrases always retain an essential coherence.”

AllAboutJazz: “Okazaki’s precision oriented approach to composition and execution offers a new spin”

NYC Jazz Record: “Elaborate, internally rhyming forms that permutate and evolve. . .”

Improvised:  “Okazaki has accomplished a difficult feat: Making a record that is both adventurous and accessible.”

JazzTrail: “elaborate layers of sound that intrigue and astound.”

Step Tempest: “Play it loud . . . you can dance to it!”

Album Preview: