All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

5

Kira Kira: Bright Force

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
The label "music" may be too confining for these sounds. Let us call it an ear-opening sonic experience. That's what pianist Satoko Fujii, with her new group, Kira Kira, has created with a compelling recording called Bright Force.

In the year 2018, every review of Fujii's output will include a prelude describing her decision to release an album per month, in celebration of her sixtieth birthday. She does know how to throw a dynamic and distinctive celebration.

January's offering, Solo (Libra Records), was her first installment. It is a solo piano outing that is one of her finest—if not the finest—effort of a career that includes over eighty recordings since Something About Water (Libra Records, 1997), a piano duet set with her mentor, Paul Bley.

Atody Man (Libra Records), by her Kaze group followed, then the March installment, Ninety-Nine Years (Libra Records), from her Orchestra Berlin arrived. She persists. Music pours out of her in an unceasing torrent.

Bright Force is 2018's month of April installment. It is a quartet outing featuring her constant musical/life partner, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, and newcomers—to the Fujii world—Australian keyboardist Alister Spence and Japanese drummer Ittetsu Takemura. This new ensemble shapes a surreal world of sound, brash and calamitous on the first two tunes—the Spence-penned "Because of the Sun" and Tamura's "Nat 4"—before shifting into the molding of a time-stands-still soundscape on Fujii's "Luna Lionfish," an extended, three-part suite that whispers into existence like a gentle breeze, coaxing small, ringing percussions on a wind chime suspended in an alien world—the chiming bars hanging in a different gravitational pull, responding to solar winds, sound waves traveling through a thicker atmosphere. A subtle shift then occurs. Electro washes sweep in softly, accompanied by subterranean groans and bird chatter. Whether the soundscape comes from Spence's effects pedals or his "preparations," from Natsuki Tamura's extended techniques on trumpet, or Fujii's inside-the piano-ministrations is unclear. It's probably a combination of those sources. And throw in some pretty acoustic piano interludes, too.

"Luna Lionfish"'s stark and eerie thirty-six minutes plays out as some of Fujii's most provocative and riveting music.

In spite of her extensive and adventurous discography, and her numerous ensemble configurations, Satoko Fujii's use of electronics in her artistry has yet to be fully explored. An example of a rare exception to this generalization is Aspiration (Libra Records, 2017), with laptop-ist Ikue Mori sitting in, adding her electronic magic to Fujii's concepts. And now we have Bright Force. It's like a door thrown open to another dimension.

Track Listing: Because Of The Sun; Nat 4; Luna Lionfish: Luna Lionfish 1; Luna Lionfish 2: Luna Lionfish 3.

Personnel: Satoko Fujii: piano; Natsuki Tamura: trumpet; Alister Spence: Rhodes electric piano, effects pedals, preparations; Ittetsu Takemura: drums.

Title: Bright Force | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Libra Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Long Journey

Long Journey

Satoko Fujii
Mizu

Available Gravity

Available Gravity

Satoko Fujii
Triad

Hypnotique Sympathie

Hypnotique Sympathie

Satoko Fujii
Atody Man

Liberation

Liberation

Satoko Fujii
Aspiration

Kunpuu

Kunpuu

Satoko Fujii
Kisaragi

Thought

Thought

Satoko Fujii
Invisible Hand

Ichigo Ichie 2

Ichigo Ichie 2

Satoko Fujii
Ichigo Ichie

Potential Energy

Potential Energy

Satoko Fujii
Yamiyo Ni Karasu

Running Around

Running Around

Satoko Fujii
Uminari

Gen Himmel

Gen Himmel

Satoko Fujii
Shiki

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Atody Man

Atody Man

Libra Records
2018

buy
Bright Force

Bright Force

Libra Records
2018

buy
Ninety-Nine Years

Ninety-Nine Years

Libra Records
2018

buy
Mizu

Mizu

Long Song Records
2018

buy
Solo

Solo

Libra Records
2018

buy

Related Articles

Read Circulate Susanna CD/LP/Track Review
Circulate Susanna
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 13, 2018
Read Jazzamenco CD/LP/Track Review
Jazzamenco
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 13, 2018
Read You Have Options CD/LP/Track Review
You Have Options
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 13, 2018
Read Heroes, Saints and Clowns CD/LP/Track Review
Heroes, Saints and Clowns
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 13, 2018
Read Bowie, Berlin & Beyond CD/LP/Track Review
Bowie, Berlin & Beyond
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 13, 2018
Read For You CD/LP/Track Review
For You
by Patrick Burnette
Published: November 12, 2018
Read "In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording" CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 11, 2018
Read "Octopus" CD/LP/Track Review Octopus
by Don Phipps
Published: February 28, 2018
Read "Dialeto Live with David Cross" CD/LP/Track Review Dialeto Live with David Cross
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: October 29, 2018
Read "Philip Glass – Piano Works" CD/LP/Track Review Philip Glass – Piano Works
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 5, 2018
Read "Karuna" CD/LP/Track Review Karuna
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 5, 2018
Read "Země" CD/LP/Track Review Země
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: March 12, 2018