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Satoko Fujii & Natsuki Tamura: Clouds (2002)

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No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

In the realm of the senses two imaginations entwine. From that fertile fabric comes sounds that elevate, startle and thrill. This is not surprising considering the fact that Fujii and Tamura have a knack of building some very intriguing sound structures.

The husband and wife team showed an affinity for drawing upon each other in their first duo album “How Many?” The kaleidoscope of sound that they twirled was startling, the dynamics that sprang from the exploration bold and elevating. And to go past duet recordings, Tamura has been an adept collaborator and an integral part of Fujii’s musical vision. All one has to do is listen to him on her projects like “Double Take” and “South Wind”.

Though both are credited as composers, it is the mind games they play that tell the best tales. The creative umbilical cord that connects the two feeds their immediate impulses that take diverse form and shape.

Fujii has a penchant for plucking the strings of the piano and she does so in a manner that is sympatico with the other players even when it inverses the line. On “Cirrus” Tamura ululates into the atmosphere, the sound stark while Fujii dips into the strings and adds a calm layer. Elsewhere she pirouettes on a sprightly tune and draws the trumpet into its trance for both to sing a warm tune. And to give composition a place in the sun, “Stratus” turns out to be a luxurious ballad even if Tamura inserts a couple of gnarled nodes.

The music may, in a sense, be dedicated to various clouds (and probably a pointer to Fujii’s sense of humor) but there is plenty of warmth rippling across.

Track Listing: Cirrus; Cumulonimbus; Stratus; Cirrocumuls; Altocumulus; Stratocumulus

Personnel: Satoko Fujii

Style: Modern Jazz


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