Jazz Articles

Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page.

3

Album Review

Futari: Underground

Read "Underground" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Pianist Satoko Fujii found another perfect musical partner in 2017, in the Berlin-based mallet maven Taiko Saito, resulting, eventually, in their duo outing Beyond (Libra Records, 2021). The pair dubbed themselves “Futari" ('two people' in Japanese). Underground surfaces as their second 2021 release ("prolific" is a word usually included in a description of Fujii's output). Fujii's piano (often prepared) and Saito's vibraphone and marimba push Fujii's “music you've never heard before" approach deeper into the unknown. Taking nothing ...

9

Album Review

Natsuki Tamura: Koki Solo

Read "Koki Solo" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Birthday celebrations have found their way into jazz recordings since the Louis Armstrong era. Illinois Jacquet, Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, and Jaco Pastorius have directly baked the cake into album titles while other artists have taken an indirect approach to celebrating. Satoko Fujii broke the mold in 2019 with a new release each month in commemoration of her sixtieth birthday. Now her partner and frequent collaborator, Natsuki Tamura takes a page from Fujii's book with his solo recording Koki Solo. ...

8

Album Review

Natsuki Tamura: Koki Solo

Read "Koki Solo" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


In 1983, pop vocalist Cyndi Lauper said, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun." She probably still sings it. Trumpeter Natsuki Tamura has always wanted to have fun, too, playing--in his early days--jazz standards in Japanese clubs where hostesses in negligees sat at stage-side tables drinking room temperature tea masquerading as whiskey at the expense of ardent customers. From there, Tamura's artistry evolved to making trumpet noises that sound like a love sick duck, or a flatulent hedgehog (and so much ...

3

Album Review

Natsuki Tamura / Satoko Fujii: Keshin

Read "Keshin" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


The Covid-19 virus tightened its grip on the world in 2020, bringing the old “one door closes, another one opens" trope to mind. The door into touring, to presenting music in live venues, slammed shut. But the extra time afforded by the lack of live music opportunities let the recording studio doors swing wide open--especially in a time when the technology has made home studios a viable and relatively affordable option. Pianist Satoko Fujii's studio is located in ...

4

Album Review

Satoko Fujii / Taiko Saito: Beyond

Read "Beyond" reviewed by John Sharpe


Right from the off, the confluence of grainy flicker and humming drone signals that Beyond won't be like other vibraphone/piano hook ups. Under the moniker Futari, Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii and her Berlin-based countrywoman vibraphonist Taiko Saito don't so much take the road less traveled as revel in the thickets, brambles and unexpected clearings discovered when they veer off map. Across nine cuts captured in a studio session during a tour of their homeland, they commune in a texture-based syntax ...

8

Album Review

Satoko Fujii: Hazuki

Read "Hazuki" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Going back to the early 1960s, consider Brian Wilson, of Beach Boys fame. And consider his song “In My Room" (with lyrics co-written with Gary Usher), issued as a single and included in the 1963 album Surfer Girl (Capitol Records). It is a sound of loneliness, a poem to a sanctuary, a place that makes it possible to “Lock out all my worries and my fears." It was a breakthrough of sorts for the Beach Boys, a step away from ...

4

Album Review

Futari (Satoko Fujii / Taiko Saito): Beyond

Read "Beyond" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Futari is the duo of pianist Satoko Fujii and vibraphonist Taiko Saito. It is a Japanese word translated into English as 'two persons.' Both persons are world travelers, adept at navigating beyond their own Japanese culture. Fujii has been at it for years, studying in Boston in the 1980s and her releasing her first recording with mentor Paul Bley, Something About Water (Libra Records) in 1996. With time spent in the US and Europe, Fujii's discography is immense, recording solo, ...


Engage

Contest Giveaways
Enter our latest contest giveaway sponsored by Jazz En Rafale
Publisher's Desk
AAJ's Jazz Menagerie Playlist is Live!
Read on.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.