257

Junk Box: Cloudy Then Sunny

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Junk Box: Cloudy Then Sunny Satoko Fujii is a prolific composer. Her writing has manifested itself in several projects used to launch her music, Junk Box being one of them. This is the group's second recording and it sees an expansion of the concept she calls composed improvisation, or "Com-Impro," that appeared on its first recording, Fragment (Libra, 2006). It is her form of musical notation that includes writing and some graphics, leaving the musicians to use any notes to express the compositions and free to improvise as they like.



The concept is interesting, though it has been worked on before through different approaches and points of view. Technique may have its fill, but what counts is how the music is finally translated in terms of creativity.



Fujii, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and percussionist John Hollenbeck work well together. They take Fujii's themes and shape them into odd structures that keep evolving into different patterns. Yet, even as they shape them in terms of individual vision, there is a logic and cohesion to the development of the theme.



Several of the tunes rise from a discernible melody. Fujii writes catchy themes, but the greater ambit is improvisation. Hollenbeck sets up a nice tempo on "Chilly Wind," while Fujii details the melody at length. Tamura, however, skittles all over, his trumpet convoluting and snaking lines. Fujii and Hollenbeck up the charge and the atmosphere turns electric.



Tamura and Fujii set up a conversation on "Back and Forth." Tamura is animated while Fujii goes in the other direction, playing open-ended, reflective notes. She is not one to be hurried—that is until Hollenbeck adds some energizing percussion. Once more the tempo takes off and all three are animated.



The rumbling of drums and percussion, the scraping of the piano strings, the breathy swoosh of the trumpet, all testify to "Alligators Running in the Sewers." Once the head has been established, Fujii brings in the melody as Tamura squeezes notes from the trumpet and drops brawny yelps.



"Con-Impro" gets its due, but intuition and empathy have the final say.

Track Listing: Computer Virus; Chilly Wind; Back and Forth; Night Came in Manhattan; Chinese Kitchen; Multiple Personalities; Opera by Rats; Alligators Running in the Sewers; Soldier?s Depression; One Equation; Cloudy Then Sunny.

Personnel: Natsuki Tamura: trumpet; Satoko Fujii: piano; John Hollenbeck: percussion.

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


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Failure of Words CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Dark Territory" CD/LP/Track Review Dark Territory
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 15, 2016
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Pocono Git-Down" CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Meditations" CD/LP/Track Review Meditations
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: June 4, 2016
Read "Pocono Git-Down" CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 1, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!