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


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Josh At Midnight" CD/LP/Track Review Josh At Midnight
by James Nadal
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "Handel:  Complete Harpsichord Music" CD/LP/Track Review Handel: Complete Harpsichord Music
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 2, 2016
Read "Visual Music" CD/LP/Track Review Visual Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 18, 2016
Read "Life Compass On!" CD/LP/Track Review Life Compass On!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "An Untroublesome Defencelessness" CD/LP/Track Review An Untroublesome Defencelessness
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Undertaker Please Drive Slow" CD/LP/Track Review Undertaker Please Drive Slow
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 15, 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!