Aki Takase

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Aki Takase
Aki Takase in June 2008.jpg
Aki Takase in June 2008
Background information
Born (1948-01-26) January 26, 1948 (age 67)
Osaka, Japan
Origin Tokyo, Japan
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, composer
Instruments Piano
Years active 1978–present
Associated acts Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra
Website www.aki-takase.de

Aki Takase (高瀬 アキ?) (born January 26, 1948) is a Japanese jazz pianist and composer.


Takase was born in Osaka. Raised in Tokyo, Takase studied music at Toho Gakuen School of Music.[1] Starting in 1978, she performed and recorded in the US.[1] Her collaborators included with Lester Bowie, David Liebman, and John Zorn. Since 1981, she performed repeatedly at the Berlin Jazz Festival in Germany.

For many years, she has been working with her husband[2] Alexander von Schlippenbach, as well as with Eugene Chadbourne, Han Bennink, Evan Parker, Paul Lovens, Fred Frith and others, and in duets with Maria João, David Murray and Rudi Mahall.

In various projects, Takase has dealt with famous jazz musicians: Duke Ellington (1990), Thelonious Monk (1994), Eric Dolphy (1998), W.C. Handy (2002), Fats Waller (2004), and Ornette Coleman (2006).

In 2002, Takase recorded with writer Yoko Tawada. Takase had read some of Tawada's poems, and, as the writer reported, she "started composing melodies and settings for my texts. When we got together, I read my poems in the same way that I always read them out loud. Aki played, listened carefully to the poems, and started improvising."[3] In later performances, Takase used more unconventional instruments when accompanying Tawada.[3]

Since 1987, Takase has lived in Berlin.[citation needed]


An asterisk (*) after the year indicates that it is the year of release.

As leader/co-leader[edit]

Year recorded Title Label Personnel/Notes
1978 Aki King Trio, with Nobuyoshi Ino (electric bass, cello), Takuji Kusumoto (drums, percussion)
1981* Minerva's Owl Quartet, with Dave Liebman (tenor sax, soprano sax), Nobuyoshi Ino (bass), Motohiko Hino (drums)
1981 Esprit One track solo piano; most tracks duo, with Yoshio Ikeda (bass)
1981 Song for Hope Enja Trio, with Nobuyoshi Ino (bass), Takeo Moriyama (drums); in concert
1982 ABC East Wind With Cecil McBee (bass), Bob Moses (drums), Sheila Jordan (vocals)
1982 Perdido Enja Solo piano and koto; in concert
1985 Teni Muho Duo, with Nobuyoshi Ino (bass, percussion)
1987 Looking for Love Enja Duo, with Maria João (vocals); in concert
1990 Shima Shoka Enja Solo piano
1990 Gunther Klatt & Aki Takase Play Ballads of Duke Ellington Tutu Duo, with Gunther Klatt (tenor sax)
1991 Blue Monk Enja Duo, with David Murray (tenor saxophone, bass clarinet)
1992 Close Up of Japan Enja With Nobuyoshi Ino (bass), Toki String Quartet
1993 Clapping Music Enja Trio, with Reggie Workman (bass), Sunny Murray (drums)
1993–94 Piano Duets: Live in Berlin 93–94 FMP Duo, with Alexander von Schlippenbach (piano)
1994 Oriental Express Enja Septet, with Hiroaki Katayama (baritone sax, tenor sax), Eiithi Hayashi (alto sax, soprano sax), Issei Igarashi (trumpet), Hiroshi Itaya (trombone), Nobuyoshi Ino (bass), Shota Koyama (drums)
1997 Duet for Eric Dolphy Enja Duo, with Rudi Mahall (bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet)
1997 Tarantella Psi Quintet, with Aleks Kolkowski (violin), Maurice Horsthuis (viola), Tristan Honsinger (cello), Nobuyoshi Ino (bass); released 2006
1997 Valencia Duo, with David Murray (tenor saxophone, bass clarinet); in concert
2001 Le Cahier du Bal Leo Solo piano
2001 St Louis Blues Enja With Nils Wogram (trombone), Fred Frith (guitar), Rudi Mahall (bass clarinet), Paul Lovens (percussion)
2001 Nine Fragments Leo As DEMPA; trio, with Aleksander Kolkowski (violin, turntables, electronics), Tony Buck (drums, electronics)
2002* Diagonal Duo, with Yoko Tawada (vocals)
2002 News from Berlin Victo Duo, with Konrad Bauer (trombone)
2003 The Dessert Leo Duo, with Rudi Mahall (bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet)
2003 Plays Fats Waller Enja With Thomas Heberer (trumpet), Nils Wogram (trombone), Rudi Mahall (bass clarinet), Eugene Chadbourne (guitar, banjo, vocals), Paul Lovens (percussion)
2004 Plays Fats Waller in Berlin jazzwerkstatt With Thomas Heberer (trumpet), Rudi Mahall (bass clarinet), Eugene Chadbourne (guitar, banjo, vocals), Paul Lovens (percussion); in concert
2004 Procreation Enja Quintet, with Walter Gauchel (tenor sax, flute), Rudi Mahall (bass clarinet), Johannes Fink (bass), Heinrich Köbberling (drums)
2004 Lok 03 Leo With Alexander von Schlippenbach (piano), DJ Illvibe (samples, turntables)
2004 Spring in Bangkok Intakt Duo, with Lauren Newton (vocals)
2006 Ornette Coleman Anthology Intakt Duo, with Silke Eberhard (alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet)
2007* Tenimuhou Duo, with Nobuyoshi Ino (bass, percussion)
2007 Something Sweet, Something Tender Enja Solo piano
2007 Beauty Is the Thing Doubtmusic As Kanon; trio, with Axel Dörner (trumpet), Kazuhisa Ushihashi (guitar)
2008 Live at Willisau Jazz Festival jazzwerkstatt Quintet, with Tobias Delius (tenor sax, clarinet), Rudi Mahall (bass clarinet), Johannes Fink (bass), Heinrich Köbberling (drums); in concert
2008 Iron Wedding – Piano Duets Intakt Duo, with Alexander von Schlippenbach (piano)
2008 Evergreen Intakt With Rudi Mahall (bass clarinet)
2008 A Week Went By Psi Some tracks solo piano; one track duo, with John Tchicai (alto sax); some tracks trio, with John Edwards (double bass) and Tony Levin (drums); in concert
2009 Yokohama Intakt With Louis Sclavis (clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone)
2009 Rolled Up jazzwerkstatt As Tama; trio, with Jan Roder (bass), Oliver Steidle (drums)
2011 Two for Two Intakt Duo, with Han Bennink (drums)
2011 New Blues Enja Most tracks quintet, with Rudi Mahall (bass clarinet), Nils Wogram (trombone), Eugene Chadbourne (guitar, banjo, vocals), Paul Lovens (drums); one track with Alexander von Schlippenbach (trumpet) added
2012 My Ellington Intakt Solo piano
2012 Flying Soul Intakt Quartet, with Louis Sclavis (clarinet, bass clarinet), Dominique Pifarély (violin), Vincent Courtois (cello)
2014 So Long, Eric!: Homage to Eric Dolphy Intakt With Tobias Delius (tenor sax), Henrik Walsdorff (alto sax), Alex Dörner (trumpet), Nils Wogram (trombone), Rudi Mahall (bass clarinet, clarinet), Alexander von Schlippenbach (piano), Karl Berger (vibraphone), Wilbert de Joode and Antonio Borghini (bass), Han Bennink and Heinrich Köbberling (drums)
2014 Hotel Zauberberg Intakt Duo, with Ayumi Paul (violin)

As sidewoman[edit]

Year recorded Leader Title Label
1989 Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra ECM
1993 Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra The Morlocks and Other Pieces FMP
1996 Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra Live in Japan '96 DIW
1990 João, MariaMaria João Alice Enja
2007* Various, Various Free Zone Appleby 2006 Psi
2007* Various, Various Ich hebe meine Augen in die Welt
2007 Johansson, Sven-ÅkeSven-Åke Johansson Für Paul Klee jazzwerkstatt

Main sources:[4][5][6]


  • The German Record Critics' Award 2001, 2004, 2006. In total she received the awards seven times.
  • Jazz Award of the German public broadcasting company SWR 2002[7]


  1. ^ a b Ankeny, Jason "Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  2. ^ Aki Takase discography at Discogs
  3. ^ a b Brandt, Bettina (January/February, 2006) "An Interview with Yoko Tawada". World Literature Today (80:1) pp. 43-45.
  4. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings. Penguin. pp. 1372–1373. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0. 
  5. ^ "Intakt Records – Artists: Aki Takase, Piano, Composition". Intakt Records. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Aki Takase". discogs.com. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  7. ^ SWR - Südwestrundfunk

External links[edit]