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The Only Way To Float Free

by Hanami

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    This special set of tunes is only available physically in black vinyl! Each LP comes with an instant download from ears&eyes, as well as an included download insert/card from Gotta Groove.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Only Way To Float Free via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days
    edition of 250 

      $15 USD or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      $9 USD  or more




Story: Hanami Releases Sophomore Album, The Only Way to Float Free

The band Hanami, an unusual melding of electric guitar, saxophone/ clarinet, bass clarinet, and drums, will release their sophomore album, The Only Way to Float Free, on April 22nd 2016. The work is a homage to band members’ pasts in Japan as well as their present in Chicago; it’s jazz without certain signifiers of jazz, infused instead with rock & roll, unexplored spaces, and the idea of water. They’ll be taking the album on the road in April, and premiering a short film to promote one of the tracks on April 22nd 2016.

When guitarist Andrew Trim and multi-reedist Mai Sugimoto came together in 2011 to raise funds for the victims of Japan’s Tohoku tsunami, it was intended to be a one-off concert. But the concert turned into band “Hanami,” (named for the Japanese custom of experiencing the fleeting beauty of cherry blossoms), and the band recorded a debut album (modern jazz takes on traditional Japanese songs), and the wheels were set in motion for something much larger than the initial concept. While Trim and Sugimoto, both of whom lived in Japan as children, were reluctant to record many more Japanese songs for fear of being branded a cover band, dreams of that country still swim through this latest album, which is all originals except for a cover of the 1901 song “Kojo no Tsuki,” or “The Moon over the Ruined Castle” - a piece also recorded in 1967 under the title “Japanese Folk Song” by pianist Thelonious Monk.

To get the sound they wanted for The Only Way to Float Free, the band recorded the entire album to analog tape, which allowed them to capture the unique sound quality that can only be gotten from old gear, where the signals are running through actual tubes and feeding into a tape machine. They weren’t afraid of potential distortion—instead, they reached for it: “When you’re playing really loud, you can actually push the boundaries of the tape itself,” says Trim. “This makes the sound a little more deteriorated.”

Check out HANAMI's debut album on Off! Records here:


released April 22, 2016

Hanami is:

Mai Sugimoto - alto sax/clarinet/compositions (Tastu Aoki)

Andrew Trim - guitar/compositions (Dim Lighting, Aluminum Group, Rock Falls, The Scientist, Ted Siorta’s Heavyweight Dub)

Jason Stein - bass clarinet (Ken Vandermark, Rob Mazurek, Pandelis Karayorgis, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Michael Zerang, Peter Brotzman)

Charles Rumback - drums (Nina Nastasia, Stirrup, Whirlpool, Via Tania)

Recorded & mixed by Brian Sulpizio at Minbal, Chicago, IL
Mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering, Boston, MA
Assistant Mastering Engineer: Maria Rice
Cover art/trailer video by Jordan Martins

Released by indie label, ears&eyes Records


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Hanami Chicago, Illinois

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