Amazon.com Widgets

Satoko Fujii Ma-Do: Desert Ship (2010)

By Published: | 2,934 views
Satoko Fujii Ma-Do: Desert Ship How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Pianist/bandleader Satoko Fujii's Ma-Do Quartet is loud, with a dense volume that is often stately, often fractured. The same can be said of much of her recorded output.

Fujii is a stunningly prolific artist who records in a dizzying array of ensemble configurations. Of her two most notable quartets, the Ma-Do band is described as an explorer of the quieter, more subtle side of her acoustic music. It is, though, all relative. Her louder and less intimate electric Satoko Fujii Quartet shakes walls and windows, and sets chandeliers swaying. So does Ma-Do, but in a gentler, more acoustic fashion, down a point or two on the Richter scale.

The telepathic interplay between Fujii and her husband/musical soul mate, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura
Natsuki Tamura
Natsuki Tamura
b.1951
trumpet
—showcased marvelously on their 2009 duo recording, Chun—blasts forward on this set's opener, "February-Locomotive-February." The tune charges ahead like a down-bound train, brakes failing, the drive train—Fuji, bassist Norikatsu Koreyasu and drummer Akira Horikoshi—flailing, with Tamura's trumpet screaming over the frantic machinations.

The title tune sputters to life on Tamura's fluttering, flatulent trumpet solo that settles into clean-toned majesty, albeit with some rough edges to it. Koreyasu's bass comes in, and then Fujii's crystalline keyboard enters with Horikoshi's rumbling drums, at a deliberate tempo that has the "Desert Ship" sounding as if it is on an unhurried journey.

"Nile River" opens with a deliberate march, relentless while threatening to lose control on Koreyasu's strident bowed bass lines. And, as in many—if not most—Fujii compositions, things seem to crumble in the direction of in-your-face chaos.

"Pluto" begins with the quartet members probing the silence before they jell into some neurotic interplay. Fujii takes a solo—delicate at first, pretty, as it cranks its way toward sonic entropy, with Tamura squealing into her maelstrom of notes.

Satoko Fujii is definitely of the avant-garde school of jazz, but her quartet recordings—and especially the Ma-Do Quartet—are some of her most approachable sounds. Desert Ship is a good introduction to her singular world, and another excellent set for her longtime fans.

Track Listing: February-Locomotive-February; Desert Ship; Nile River; Ripple Mark; Sunset in the Desert; While You Were Sleeping; Capillaries; Vapor Trails.

Personnel: Satoko Fujii: piano; Natsuki Tamura: trumpet; Norikatsu Koreyasu: bass; Akira Horikoshi: drums.

Record Label: NotTwo Records

Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus
Search
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mark Elf

Mark Elf

About | Enter

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

About | Enter

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Bandzoogle: GET STARTED TODAY - FREE TRIAL

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

Article Search