All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

6

This Is It!: 1538

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist/composer Satoko Fujii's June 2018 edition of her CD-release-a-month celebration of her sixtieth birthday introduces a new trio, called This Is It!. The group's debut recording takes its name from the Celsius melting point of iron. The group is a variation on the Satoko Fujii New Trio, a piano trio that released the excellent Spring Storm (Libra Records, 2014). The new configuration replaces bassist Todd Nicholson with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura. Fujii and drummer Takashi Itani remain.

The music remains typically Fujii-esque—a rambunctious stew of explosive group dynamics and interludes of gorgeous piano ruminations beside prickly percussive keyboard moments. There are also fleeting, bright splashes of notes, odd noises from extended techniques—from Fujii and Tamura—and driving rhythms in a wide array of time signatures. All this usually in the same song.

The title tune opens the disc with a scratchy whisper from Tamura's trumpet, drawing the sound in the direction of a post-cataclysm soundtrack, like the noise of the cosmos ten minutes after the Big Bang. It is chaos that coalesces into a dark, turbulent beauty in an extended piano solo. Itani enters with a "out-in-the-kitchen-makin'-noise-with-the-pots-and-pans" mode, while Tamura comes in hissing and sputtering. It is music that is idiosyncratically beautiful and calamitous at the same time.

"Prime Number," the second tune, is a jittery, mechanistic foray, like robotic assembly line mechanisms going off kilter with crossed signals from errant computer inputs, and "Climb the Rapids" has an odd, jumpy majesty, with Tamura playing his trumpet straight and clean and open.

Satoko Fujii is ridiculously prolific, almost Sun Ra prolific, even without a CD-per-month mandate. She has released somewhere in the neighborhood of eighty recordings since 1997. This project, beginning in January with Solo (Libra Records, 2018), has lifted her artistry to a new level—with six more CD releases to go. New bands pouring out new music in a torrent. Always fresh, always adventurous.

The closer—and the longest tune on the CD —"Yozora," opens with an extended drone (via Fujii's inside-the-piano string machinations is the guess) leading into spare and inward keyboard pianism. Then the switch gets flipped, and the ensemble blows into a hard-driving, near-mainstream sound. As it gains momentum, it becomes an exhilarating ride, one that tapers down to a slow glide, with Fujii and her piano creating the loveliest sounds.

Track Listing: 1538; Prime Number; Climb The Rapids; Riding On the Clouds; Swoops; Yazora.

Personnel: Satoko Fujii: piano; Natsuki Tamura: trumpet; Takashi Itani: drums.

Title: 1538 | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Libra Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Long Journey

Long Journey

Satoko Fujii
Mizu

Available Gravity

Available Gravity

Satoko Fujii
Triad

Hypnotique Sympathie

Hypnotique Sympathie

Satoko Fujii
Atody Man

Liberation

Liberation

Satoko Fujii
Aspiration

Kunpuu

Kunpuu

Satoko Fujii
Kisaragi

Thought

Thought

Satoko Fujii
Invisible Hand

Ichigo Ichie 2

Ichigo Ichie 2

Satoko Fujii
Ichigo Ichie

Potential Energy

Potential Energy

Satoko Fujii
Yamiyo Ni Karasu

Running Around

Running Around

Satoko Fujii
Uminari

Gen Himmel

Gen Himmel

Satoko Fujii
Shiki

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Atody Man

Atody Man

Libra Records
2018

buy
Bright Force

Bright Force

Libra Records
2018

buy
Ninety-Nine Years

Ninety-Nine Years

Libra Records
2018

buy
Mizu

Mizu

Long Song Records
2018

buy
Solo

Solo

Libra Records
2018

buy
Solo

Solo

Libra Records
2018

buy

Related Articles

Read Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road CD/LP/Track Review
Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 25, 2018
Read 8 Songs CD/LP/Track Review
8 Songs
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Facing Dragons CD/LP/Track Review
Facing Dragons
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read "Thicker Than Water" CD/LP/Track Review Thicker Than Water
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 13, 2018
Read "Modern Lore" CD/LP/Track Review Modern Lore
by Doug Collette
Published: February 11, 2018
Read "Cubist" CD/LP/Track Review Cubist
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 11, 2018
Read "Your Queen Is A Reptile" CD/LP/Track Review Your Queen Is A Reptile
by Chris May
Published: February 21, 2018
Read "More Songs About Error And Shame" CD/LP/Track Review More Songs About Error And Shame
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2018
Read "Basement Sessions Vol. 4 (The Bali Tapes)" CD/LP/Track Review Basement Sessions Vol. 4 (The Bali Tapes)
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 28, 2018