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Natsuki Tamura Quartet: Exit

Dan McClenaghan By

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Making music with a commercial appeal has probably never entered trumpeter Natsuki Tamura's mind. He follows his muse, and she takes him to uncharted territories.

Last year's Hada Hada may be the most intense set of jazz sounds—Electric, with that capital "E"—you'll likely enounter, a plugged-in fifty thousand watt hurricane of a CD; while this year's Ko Ko Ko Ke , a solo set, just trumpet and voice, soothed the listener with a calm accoustic chants and incantations. Opposite ends of the Tamura's sound spectrum, one might say. If that's so, then Exit, featuring his quartet—with Satoko Fujii on synthesizer, Takayuki Kato on guitar, and Ryojiro Furusawa on drums—falls somewhere near the middle of that spectrum and ends up being his most compelling disc.

Exit is fully electric—even Tamura's trumpet is wired up—and the sounds the quartet generates range from echoing trumpet cries to blips and electro belches, switched-on flatulence and sonar bonks, creaking hinges and the rustlings of robotic rodents, with come-and-go interludes of often lyrical melody weaving through storms of dense washes of orchestral synthesizer/guitar sound. And having said that, Exit also includes moments of repose and almost classical harmony—this realization coming to me as I listen to the disc's longest track, "Eliminate."

A facinating set that somehow doesn't suffer the short-circuiting of an underlying soulfulness which you might think its plugged-in nature could cause.

Exit is for the listener with the adventurous ear, a brilliantly executed set with a neon glow.

Visit Natsuki Tamura on the web.


Track Listing: Entrance, Endanger, Eliminate, Expired, Exit

Personnel: Natsuki Tamura--trumpet; Takayuki Kato--guitar; Satoko Fujii--synthesizer; Ryojiro Furusawa--drums

Title: Exit | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: NatSat Music


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