162

Satoko Fujii Quartet: Bacchus

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Satoko Fujii Quartet: Bacchus You'll often hear jazz artists say that they don't like to call their music "jazz." The word, after all, is a label, and labels confine—if you take them seriously/and or let them. Pianist Satoko Fujii may or may not label her music (it's doubtful), but there are certainly no constraints on the sounds she makes.

Fujii records, prolifically, with any number of ensemble configurations: from her extremely freewheeling and often cacophonous big bands to duo projects, the European-flavored Gato Libre, and various trios and quartets. But one of her most enduring ensembles is The Satoko Fujii Quartet, with whom she has recorded four previous discs, beginning with Vulcan (Libra Records, 2001). The quartet is a powerhouse affair, with muscular, rock-informed drumming of Tatsuya Yoshida and the seismic electric bass of Takehuru Hayakawa laying down unpredictable grooves behind her piano, and the blowing of the always adventurous trumpeter Natsuki Tamura.

Bacchus may be the most sedate of the Quartet's sets—though the word "sedate" is used in a relative sense. The sound is loud, full of pulsing adrenaline and in your face brashness, but things seem a bit more measured than on previous efforts, resulting in their most approachable outing.

But don't let the words/labels "sedate" or "measured" fool you. The Quartet's sound has a beefy, vibrant energy; and Fujii's piano approach—whether she's flailing in a maelstrom or picking out brittle, pretty notes in moments of eye of the storm repose—is always surprising and engagingly outside any predictable norm.

Bacchus showcases Fujii at her best: focused, fearlessness, and not paying any attention at all to what might be expected from the confines of anybody's labels.

Track Listing: Sunset in Savannah; In the Town Called Empty; Matsu Mae; Flying Elephant; Bacchus; In the Town You Don't See on the Map; Waltz for Godzilla; Natsue Mae (with effect).

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

Title: Bacchus | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Muzak


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Flowers" CD/LP/Track Review Flowers
by John Sharpe
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Going North" CD/LP/Track Review Going North
by Chris Mosey
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "A Dark and Stormy Day" CD/LP/Track Review A Dark and Stormy Day
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 1, 2017
Read "Second Impression" CD/LP/Track Review Second Impression
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 14, 2016
Read "Of The Night" CD/LP/Track Review Of The Night
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 30, 2016
Read "As The Wind" CD/LP/Track Review As The Wind
by John Eyles
Published: January 12, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.