Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

236

Satoko Fujii Ma-Do: Desert Ship

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist/bandleader Satoko Fujii's Ma-Do Quartet is loud, with a dense volume that is often stately, often fractured. The same can be said of much of her recorded output.

Fujii is a stunningly prolific artist who records in a dizzying array of ensemble configurations. Of her two most notable quartets, the Ma-Do band is described as an explorer of the quieter, more subtle side of her acoustic music. It is, though, all relative. Her louder and less intimate electric Satoko Fujii Quartet shakes walls and windows, and sets chandeliers swaying. So does Ma-Do, but in a gentler, more acoustic fashion, down a point or two on the Richter scale.

The telepathic interplay between Fujii and her husband/musical soul mate, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura—showcased marvelously on their 2009 duo recording, Chun—blasts forward on this set's opener, "February-Locomotive-February." The tune charges ahead like a down-bound train, brakes failing, the drive train—Fuji, bassist Norikatsu Koreyasu and drummer Akira Horikoshi—flailing, with Tamura's trumpet screaming over the frantic machinations.

The title tune sputters to life on Tamura's fluttering, flatulent trumpet solo that settles into clean-toned majesty, albeit with some rough edges to it. Koreyasu's bass comes in, and then Fujii's crystalline keyboard enters with Horikoshi's rumbling drums, at a deliberate tempo that has the "Desert Ship" sounding as if it is on an unhurried journey.

"Nile River" opens with a deliberate march, relentless while threatening to lose control on Koreyasu's strident bowed bass lines. And, as in many—if not most—Fujii compositions, things seem to crumble in the direction of in-your-face chaos.

"Pluto" begins with the quartet members probing the silence before they jell into some neurotic interplay. Fujii takes a solo—delicate at first, pretty, as it cranks its way toward sonic entropy, with Tamura squealing into her maelstrom of notes.

Satoko Fujii is definitely of the avant-garde school of jazz, but her quartet recordings—and especially the Ma-Do Quartet—are some of her most approachable sounds. Desert Ship is a good introduction to her singular world, and another excellent set for her longtime fans.

Track Listing: February-Locomotive-February; Desert Ship; Nile River; Ripple Mark; Sunset In The Desert; Pluto; While You Were Sleeping; Capillaries; Vapour Trail.

Personnel: Satoko Fujii: piano; Natsuki Tamura: trumpet; Norikatsu Koreyasu: bass; Akira Horikoshi: drums.

Title: Desert Ship | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Not Two Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Journey to a New World CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by John Sharpe
Published: January 21, 2018
Read 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert CD/LP/Track Review 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Lux CD/LP/Track Review Lux
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Unleashed CD/LP/Track Review Unleashed
by John Sharpe
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Good Merlin" CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Rendering" CD/LP/Track Review Rendering
by Mark Christian Miller
Published: December 27, 2017
Read "Open Book" CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Doug Collette
Published: September 9, 2017
Read "Far From Over" CD/LP/Track Review Far From Over
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 13, 2017
Read "Eternal Life" CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "The Chicago Blues Box 2" CD/LP/Track Review The Chicago Blues Box 2
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 9, 2017