347

Natsuki Tamura / Satoko Fujii: Chun

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Natsuki Tamura / Satoko Fujii: Chun Chun is one of seven new albums released in 2008 by tireless Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii in celebration of her fiftieth birthday. Issued concurrently with Sanrei (BKM), by her Orchestra Nagoya, and Summer Suite (Libra), by her Orchestra New York, Chun is the fourth duet session Fujii has recorded with her husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura.

Fujii and Tamura have honed their empathetic rapport in a variety of settings over the past decade, from the massed ensembles of the aforementioned Orchestras to the spare confines of this acoustic duo. Despite the double billing, all of the tunes are penned by Fujii, whose expansive writing offers a rich array of dynamic contrasts. The most intricate endeavors weave turbulent unison lines through labyrinthine themes; the more ethereal fare relies on the duo's sensitive interpretive abilities to provide them with formal constraints.

Fujii and Tamura's vigorous interplay and bracing virtuosity electrifies the rousing opener, "Tokyo Rush Hour," as they tackle the tune's coiled theme with neoclassical flair, deconstructing the core melody with fervid enthusiasm. The title track and "Spiral Staircase" follow suit, with brisk tempos and knotty cadences that border on the baroque. Thorny lines reveal a bounty of creative possibilities as Fujii's incisive arpeggios and Tamura's blustery runs craft harsh angles into dramatic contours. "Infrared" is the culmination of this approach, Tamura's trilled fanfares inspire Fujii's coruscating salvos to unfettered abandon.

"Nudibranch," "Stone Flowers" and "Curt Response" resound with lyrical restraint and conversational empathy, punctuated by interludes of pungent expressionism. Tamura's melancholy whispers compliment Fujii's muted chords as she plies harrowing harmonic variations on "Nudibranch" and he elicits pillowy glisses on "Stone Flowers." "Ultraviolet" abandons traditional structure altogether, unveiling a delicate tone poem of hushed insectoid textures.

The album's exotic, episodic finale, the 21 minute "Triangle" opens with scintillating gamelan-like tones and metallic textures, generated by Fujii's hands-on manipulation of her piano strings. Tamura's ghostly cries exacerbate the haunting atmosphere, building to plangent refrains which Fujii works into sinuous variations before concluding the tune with a rousing bout of pneumatic free improvisation.

Another brilliant document in the growing discography of one of today's most important composers, Chun is a stellar document of two musicians whose sensitive interplay knows no bounds.


Track Listing: Tokyo Rush Hour; Nudibranch; Infrared; Chun; Stone Flowers; Curt Response; Ultraviolet; Spiral Staircase; Triangle.

Personnel: Satoko Fujii: piano; Natsuki Tamura: trumpet.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Libra Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Flowers" CD/LP/Track Review Flowers
by John Sharpe
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Roots Of Unity" CD/LP/Track Review Roots Of Unity
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Akustik InventYours" CD/LP/Track Review Akustik InventYours
by Tyran Grillo
Published: May 3, 2016
Read "King of the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review King of the Blues
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2016
Read "Imaginist" CD/LP/Track Review Imaginist
by Mike Jacobs
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Meditations on Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Meditations on Freedom
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 11, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!