5

Kira Kira: Bright Force

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Kira Kira: Bright Force
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.

Album information

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

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Data Lords
Data Lords
Maria Schneider Orchestra
Read In Igma
In Igma
Pedro Melo Alves
Read Blood Moon
Blood Moon
Ingrid Laubrock + Kris Davis
Read Inland Empire
Inland Empire
Fredrik Ljungkvist - Kris Davis - Ole Morten Vågan - Øyvind Skarbø
Read PaNOptic
PaNOptic
Rudy Royston
Read Valentine
Valentine
Bill Frisell
Read Triangulate the Landscape
Triangulate the Landscape
Drew Wesely/Kenneth Jimenez/Francisco Mela

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

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