How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
What a trip!
From her title track, on down the line, Satoko Fujii's Junction characterizes jazz's modern mainstream as swinging, soulful, and teeming with creative ideas. The music needs outlets like this one in order to grow. Fujii's trio improvises freely, but remains accessible. European classical studies, American jazz traditions, and worldwide folk patterns merge easily as one genre. Dramatic tension is balanced by casual release. The three talented artists produce a session that is certainly worth repeated listening sessions. Melody and harmony swim in and out of tempo. The music provides nourishment. Fujii provides a fluid piano sound that is punctuated to add form. Her natural concept gives you something to remember. Mark Dresser offers a lyrical message to complement Fujii's ideas; as well as needed high harmonics, gentle scratches and arco swirls that add variety. Never a dull moment. Jim Black swings hard and provides natural color. His extended solo on "Eel" amounts to a clinic demonstration for students of the drum set; yet, he fits his performance between piano and bass to carry on from the heart. Fujii's trio prefers it that way. They end with a quasi-tango that swings hard. This threesome has the drawing power to mesmerize a broad spectrum, while reminding die-hard fans (like us) that a balance of the mainstream and new music is where jazz has got to be.
Track Listing: Junction; Go On Foot; He Is Very Suspicious; Ninepin; Humoresqueak; Eel; Caret; The Future of the Past.
Personnel: Satoko Fujii- piano; Mark Dresser- bass; Jim Black- drums, pianica on "Ninepin;" Natsuki Tamura- melodica on "Ninepin."