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Satoko Fujii Quartet: Angelona

Jim Santella By

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Forming a progressive alliance of jazz and rock, Satoko Fujii unleashes Angelona with a flash-bang authority that grabs you hard and fast. It's her quartet's best performance to date. While Vulcan (2001) was named after the Roman god of fire, Minerva (2003) was named after the Roman goddess of wisdom, and Zephyros (2004) was named after the Greek god of the west wind, this one contains an allure that applies to all audiences. Angelona's program represents a collage of musical ideas that spans the entire world of contemporary music.

Angelona, a goddess of secrecy, represents the power that Fujii has injected into her compositions. Her piano surges with an intimidating percussive force that carries you away on golden rails. The impressionistic landscape turns in many directions, allowing the listener to interpret at will. Aside from her intriguing musical ideas and the freedom that her quartet exhibits, one thing sets the ensemble apart from the rest: its spirit. Fujii's piano pushes and pulls, cajoling her quartet with basic musical elements, all finely tuned through experience.

Electric bassist Takeharu Hayakawa lends an exciting presence that dominates the session with powerful throbs. Drummer Tatsuya Yoshida propels the unit with sparks of rhythmic anxiety. Trumpeter Natsuki Tamura provides a beautiful tone with creative strokes that feed the ensemble, while Fujii fashions her musical interpretations through an intricately woven web of silk. Together, the four artists combine fire and ice, balancing their effusive performance with lovely melodic statements and a rhythmic groove.

While Angelona represented secrecy applied to the body of mythological beliefs of an ancient society, Angelona comes to us with wide-open expression through Satoko Fujii's progressive ensemble.

Visit Satoko Fujii on the web.


Track Listing: An Alligator in your Wallet; Collage--in the Night; A Poor Sailor; A Journey into the West; Cicada; A Brick House.

Personnel: Satoko Fujii: piano; Takeharu Hayakawa: bass guitar; Tatsuya Yoshida: drums; Natsuki Tamura: trumpet.

Title: Angelona | Year Released: 2006

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