Metaphor (CD)


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To follow up on their first album Nature in its inscrutability strikes back (Umlaut Records 2015), the unclassifiable European trio ISM] is releasing two new recordings captured during a studio session in Tokyo in November 2018. The first part titled Metaphor was released on CD in the spring of 2019 while the second installment – the LP Japanese Flower – will be available in June 2021.

This long and dense diptych exposes and propels a music populated by sound fictions that pulverise the listening habits of the jazz trio format. Sometimes polyphonic, meditative, pulsed and repetitive, abstract or falsely simple, this music carried by three high-flying improvisers is intended to be crude, direct, labyrinthine, always rooted in sound mattere, as consisting of abrupt breaks and renewed continuities. Like the floral compositions of the Ikebana artist Junichi Kakizaki (who oversaw the design of this diptych), this music is « like a flower » in the sense that « it enjoys a unique custom or system, or philosophy, ideology and artistic sense ». The four pieces engraved on these two albums each bear a name of flower – this music becoming a metaphor of the plant.

[ISM] is a name written in ink. A dash through European creative music. A round trip, Berlin – Oxford, via Paris. اسم [ISM] is Pat, Joel and Antonin in a dotted silence without name. Acoustically, the trio creates abstract forms close of written contemporary music with sounds reminding us of ancient traditional jazz trios. The groove wich appears in this music is dense, extreme but always quiet. Music in a continuous flow of high voltage charges. In Arabic, اسم [ISM] is a way to connect between different cultural and imaginary worlds. اسم [ISM] is an Arabic word, which means The Name.

Additional information




Antonin Gerbal, Joel Grip, Pat Thomas




Pat Thomas
Joel Grip
Antonin Gerbal


اسم [Ism]


  1. Cockscomb (34:03)
  2. Marguerite (31:14)


Pat Thomas : piano
Joel Grip : double bass
Antonin Gerbal : drums

Recording : Knuttel House, Tokyo . November 23rd 2018
Engineering : Taku Unami
Mixing and mastering : Taku Unami
Floral art (cover) : Junichi Kakizaki
Photo : Joji Okamoto
Design : Takashi Nagata