Tatsuya Nakatani

Appearing Friday, May 7, at the Meridian Gallery, and Saturday, May 8, at the Totally Intense Fractal Mind Gaze Hut (house concert). Photo by Makoto Takeuchi.

Percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani is doing a four-month North American tour, traveling by Honda Element.  Right now, he’s on the California swing of the trip.

I don’t know much about Nakatani (born in Japan, now living in Easton, Penn.), but he’s got a compelling record catalogue.  He certainly seems on the experimental side, with a solo 57-minute recording; another with electronics, cello, and balloon accompanying his percussion; and two trio records with Mary Halvorson. The first of these came out on Nakatani’s own H&H label, and the second is very recent: a three-sided vinyl issue on Taiga, with some intense hypnotic artwork to boot.

He does a lot of work with textures and with the exploration of sounds. Lots of bowing (especially of gongs and bells), creating a quiet intimacy, or a torrent of sound with tiny variations providing detail.

He’s also swinging through Sacramento, Davis, Bakersfield, L.A., and San Diego this coming week, if you happen to be in those areas.

Here in the Bay Area, he’ll be doing a duo set with Phillip Greenlief on sax at the Meridian Gallery on Friday … then an all-percussion trio with Jacob Felix Heule and Jordan Glenn in Oakland on Saturday.

(And there was a Thursday solo set at the Luggage Store Gallery that I wasn’t quick enough to catch.)