All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
Satoko Fujii's daring electicism has marked every encounter since her debut recording with Paul Bley in 1996. She has demonstrated a fearless openness to stylistic freedom that makes everything she's done in the last five years difficult to categorize. Quite simply, the pianist does not fit into any neat little boxes. On April Shower, she joins promiscuous in-and-out violinist Mark Feldman for a workout of free and lyrical tunes that flow together to form a patchwork quilt of improvisation. Feldman is particularly adventurous here, and he finds a welcome partner willing to spur his explorations forward. It's hard to believe the violinist was a successful Nashville studio musician during the early '80s; his playing has abandoned the catchy regularity of country for the lilt and spark of free improvisation (though every once in a while you'll catch him pulling snippets out of the memory banks).
The fifteen tracks on April Shower include four solo piano performances, four "piano + piano" pieces, and seven duets. When Fujii has the stage to herself, she tends to explore a lush, lyrical sound. With Feldman, she tends to operate more in the realm of abstract adventurism, though certain pieces (like "Then I Met You") offer a more instrospective approach. It's interesting to check out the contrasts between the piano pieces and the violin duets. Without a partner, Fujii plays almost as if she has two voices. But Feldman's full-tilt explorations of tone, color, melody and density tend to pull Fujii into clustery punches and detours inside the piano. Among contemporary pianists, Fujii has a remarkably expansive musical vision. Her work gets stronger with each record, as she finds new ways to bring disparate concepts together into a coherent whole. April Shower marks a welcome step forward in Fujii's musical evolution. Though you might have trouble finding this Japanese release, it's well worth the effort.
Track Listing: April Shower; Mirage; Inference; After You Have Gone; Then I Met You; In the Morning; In Parenthesis; I Know You Don't Know; The Snow Was Falling Slowly; Gnome; Nice Talking to You; Behind the Notes; A Strange Piece of News; Right Before You Found It; White Sky.
Personnel: Satoko Fujii: piano; Mark Feldman: violin.
The best show I ever attended was going with my father to see Dizzy Gillespie play at the Royal Festival Hall in London, England. Dizzy was a man full of charisma and play. He managed to get four different sections of the audience to sing four different vocal parts in one song
The best show I ever attended was going with my father to see Dizzy Gillespie play at the Royal Festival Hall in London, England. Dizzy was a man full of charisma and play. He managed to get four different sections of the audience to sing four different vocal parts in one song. He captured everyone's attention and got us all up on our feet dancing alongside him to this incredible music we call jazz.