Satoko Fujii Orchestra: Double Take
Her ambitious orchestra project, a two CD affair, recorded mostly the same compositions by two different orchestras, one from the US, the other with all Japanese musicians. Two shots at any large ensemble get together are rare these days, but two almost differing cultural perspectives are an admirable undertaking. Like Godzilla vs. the Terminator, or Hideo Nomo pitching to Mark McGwire, it’s East matching West.
She gives us American jazz. To be more precise, Downtown jazz. Fujii is a sort of 21st century Frank Zappa. She likes to muck it up. Start. Stop and turn phrases on their head. These two CDs are almost beyond description because of the amount of information packed into two- plus hours of music.
The West disc has a now familiar cast of New York insiders; Chris Speed (Bloodcount), Briggan Krause, Curtis Hasselbring (Either/Orchestra), Steve Bernstein (Sex Mob), Cuong Vu, Tony Malaby (Vinny Golia) along with DJ Firehouse adding the turntable to the orchestra mix. My ignorance of Japanese jazz musicians is hopefully forgivable. I look at Double Take as a fresh perspective on Fujii’s material. The only conclusion I can draw between East and West versions is the Japanese stick closer to the tradition of jazz or at least the tradition of avant-jazz orchestras. There is much to digest, all first class music, musicians and improvising. Repeated listens are not only necessary, but also required.
Track List East Disc:South Wind; The Desert; The South Pole; The Outer Space; The Megalopolis; Okesa-Yansado; Sola-Sky.
Personnel: Satoko Fujii
Record Label: Ewe Records