The MTKJ Quartet (acronym for the musicians' initials), turned into the Empty Cage Quartet some years ago. They are a free jazz/free improv band consisting of Jason Mears on alto saxophone, Bb clarinet and wood flutes; Kris Tiner on trumpet and flugelhorn; Paul Kikuchi on drums and Ivan Johnson on contrabass. Their live music, as on this album is very slow, lengthy and spacy, and the sound quality not too good. And that's really a shame, because the band really has something to tell. And the overall quality of the musicians can be more appreciated on the more composed shorter tracks on their excellent studio recordings "Day Of The Race" (2005) and "Making Room For Space" (2004), which are much more joyful, jubilant and inspired. True, a little less free, but the quality is super on these two albums. "Hello The Damage" is a little disappointment after that, sounding a little bit too flat, but still recommended.
Their albums can be listened to and downloaded from PayPlay.com
Listen to and/or download a recent live performance live at 1510 8th St Performance Space in Oakland, CA, August 6, 2007
You can also watch this totally weird video with a soundtrack by the Empty Cage Quartet. Enjoy!