Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

5

Satoko Fujii / Yuko Yamaoka: Diary 2005-2015: Yuko Yamaoka Plays the Music of Satoko Fujii

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Diary 2005-2015: Yuko Yamaoka Plays the Music of Satoko Fujii is the eleventh of twelve releases to be issued as part of Satoko Fujii's year-long, sixtieth birthday celebration. The previous ten releases this year have shown us an exceptional artist as she works in a variety of musical modes, and in formations from solo to orchestra, with some very unusual collaborations in-between. This double album offers further insight into Fujii's creative process and her mindset, in general. To that end we learn that the pianist practices—not only to refine her playing—but as a compositional exercise as well.

It seemed unlikely that one of Fujii's best albums in this cycle would be one on which she does not appear, but that is the case here. The works that form Fujii's Diary are conveyed through the solo piano of Yuko Yamaoka. A long-time teacher at the Tokyo Yamaha Music School, Yamaoka received her Master of Music from the New England Conservatory. Largely unknown in the West, she has worked with Fujii in the past on her Orchestra New York release South Wind (Leo Lab, 1997) and the Orchestra East/West double album Double Take (EWE, 2000). The physical absence of Fujii—at her own party, as it were—is not the most unusual aspect of this collection; that distinction would go to the one-hundred-and-eighteen tracks across the two discs.

If Fujii were a novelist, Diary would be an anti-journalistic approach that allows the listener to pick up on the atmosphere within an event, without fixating on its formal structure. In her liner notes Fujii explains that in 2005 she began to practice composing for fifteen minutes each day. Many of these tracks are extremely brief—twenty seconds or less; few approaching two minutes. She notes that on some occasions a full-fledged composition would later develop but more often than not, these vignettes remained in their embryonic stage. Within the pieces Yamaoka translates the many facets of the composer: the atonal edginess of "020404," the classical influence of "021205" and small whirling dance themes in "050509." As one would expect from the diverse composer, the music alternates in mood with pieces such as the propulsive, driving "051605" and the quirky beauty of "062405."

Importantly, there is a cohesiveness to the overall program that may seem improbable to achieve given the number of themes at work. Diary plays through brilliantly, with a sinuous lucidity and not a trace of irrational architecture among the passages. Fujii notes that her decision to have Yamaoka play on the album stems from her need to record as an improvisor. Yamaoka communicates in a vernacular of simplicity, bringing Fujii's ideas to life with uncommon clarity and control without losing the spontaneity that produced the original concepts. The album is—in many ways—one of the most accessible and pleasurable in Fujii's catalog.

Track Listing: Disk 1: 012805; 012905; 020405; 020505; 021205; 021305; 021405; 030905; 051305; 051505; 051605; 051905; 062405; 062605; 062805; 072505; 072705; 101905; 121705; 122005; 040306; 040406; 040506; 040706; 041706; 050206; 050306; 051006; 112305; 112406; 112506; 123106; 010207; 010307; 010407; 012507; 012707; 012807; 012907; 020807; 021107; 031307; 041507; 042907; 060907; 070207; 072907; 112107; 122407; 122607; 073108; 081008; 122908; 010909; 011009; 011509; 032109; 032909; 033109; 040709; 050509; 051309; Disk 2: 061109; 062809; 070209; 091209; 091309; 092609; 102309; 102409; 102509; 111609; 031210; 031510; 031810; 032810; 040110; 100610; 101610; 120410; 010211; 120911; 010212; 020112; 030712; 031412; 032012; 042512; 050612; 051612; 061012; 072712; 080512; 080712; 082612; 110312; 110612; 121312; 010613; 011113; 012213; 012913; 032313; 052013; 060913; 102613; 120813; 041514; 041814; 050314; 051614; 072714; 082714; 090414; 111114; 081115; 102315; 031316.

Personnel: Yuko Yamaoka: piano.

Title: Diary 2005-2015: Yuko Yamaoka Plays the Music of Satoko Fujii | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Libra Records

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Long Journey

Long Journey

Satoko Fujii
Mizu

Available Gravity

Available Gravity

Satoko Fujii
Triad

Hypnotique Sympathie

Hypnotique Sympathie

Satoko Fujii
Atody Man

Liberation

Liberation

Satoko Fujii
Aspiration

Kunpuu

Kunpuu

Satoko Fujii
Kisaragi

Thought

Thought

Satoko Fujii
Invisible Hand

Ichigo Ichie 2

Ichigo Ichie 2

Satoko Fujii
Ichigo Ichie

Potential Energy

Potential Energy

Satoko Fujii
Yamiyo Ni Karasu

Running Around

Running Around

Satoko Fujii
Uminari

Gen Himmel

Gen Himmel

Satoko Fujii
Shiki

Multiple Reviews
Interviews
Under the Radar
Year in Review
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Stone

Stone

Libra Records
2019

buy
Atody Man

Atody Man

Libra Records
2018

buy
Bright Force

Bright Force

Libra Records
2018

buy
Ninety-Nine Years

Ninety-Nine Years

Libra Records
2018

buy

Related Articles

Read Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances Album Reviews
Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances
By Dan McClenaghan
May 21, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 21, 2019
Read That's a Computer Album Reviews
That's a Computer
By Jerome Wilson
May 21, 2019
Read All I Do Is Bleed Album Reviews
All I Do Is Bleed
By Paul Naser
May 21, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Karl Ackermann
May 20, 2019
Read Remembering Miles Album Reviews
Remembering Miles
By Dan McClenaghan
May 20, 2019
Read Merry Peers Album Reviews
Merry Peers
By Bruce Lindsay
May 20, 2019