189

Satoko Fujii Orchestra--East: Before the Dawn

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Satoko Fujii Orchestra--East: Before the Dawn Settling down in an easy chair and pushing the play button to spin a Satoko Fujii disc is an experience akin to climbing aboard and plunging into a musical version of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride: careening along a swerving and uncertain path, jerking into spine-jolting ninety degree turns, dipping, climbing, slowing onto the familiar smooth straightaway, where you're unexpectedly assaulted by jarring phenomena.

This is especially true of her large ensemble work. Before the Dawn features, live in Japan, Fujii's Orchestra East, her all-star Japanese big band (Orchestra West is her Stateside crew), composed of fifteen of her homeland's best improvisors.

Power, exuberance, fierce soloing... a trumpet that sounds like a badger with its foot caught in a steel trap, screaming in front of relatively mainstream harmonics; a baritone sax solo that brings to mind a disgrutled grizzly bear; moments of beauty, serenity, delicacy interspersed with seismic Elvis Costello "Pump it Up" percussion/bass modes that lead into gentle classical harmony. Honks, squeals; raucous and discordant jungle sounds; bird trills and freight trains. Consider all these things, and you still haven't captured the essence of Satoko Fujii's Before the Dawn.

Unpredictable, wildly creative, and uncompromising, Fujii started as a classical musician in her native Japan before the calls of improvisation and jazz asserted themselves. In the past half dozen years she has put out a series of some of the most facinating/challenging/out-there CDs you'll find anywhere, the best of which include Minerva and Vulcan, collaborations with her trumpeter husband, Natsuki Tamura, who is also a member of this Orchestra East.

Fujii is an an absolutely essential listen for anyone interested in the future of jazz.

Visit Satoko Fujii on the web.


Track Listing: Pakonya, Joh-Ha-Cue, Wakerasuka, Before the Dawn, Yattoko Mittoko

Personnel: Satoko Fujii--piano; Sachi Hayasaka, Kunihiro Izumi--alto sax; Hiroaki Katayama, Kenichi Matsumoto--tenor sax; Ryuichi Yoshida--baritone sax; Natsuki Tamura, Yosihito Fukumoto, Takao Watanaben, TsuneoTakeda--trumpets; Hiroshi Fukamura, Hagureguma Nagamatsu, Tetsuya Higashi--trombones; Toshiki Nagata--bass; Masahiro Uemura--drums

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: NatSat Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Morning Glory" CD/LP/Track Review Morning Glory
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 8, 2016
Read "Hearts & Minds" CD/LP/Track Review Hearts & Minds
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 22, 2016
Read "Zenith" CD/LP/Track Review Zenith
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 1, 2016
Read "Occasional Poems" CD/LP/Track Review Occasional Poems
by John Sharpe
Published: April 4, 2016
Read "Let Loose" CD/LP/Track Review Let Loose
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: May 15, 2016
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!