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With his new electric quartet, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura explores a wider range of possibilities in the name of free jazz. Synthesized electronic moods and spiritual trumpet echoes recall the hubbub over the way Miles Davis ushered in the 1970s with fusion.
Now, in a new century of improvised music, Tamura turns loose the ties that hold jazz to specific timbres. With her synthesizers, Satoko Fujii is able to create a new kind of fusion. While electric guitar and drum set provide bookend structures for their improvised dreams, Fujii and Tamura run free with their emancipation.
Notice that the trumpeter's song titles all begin with the letter E. The theme of his album contains much more than that, however, as he develops his program from a humble beginning to risky operations, a peak operation, dying down, and a memorable ending. To his captioned list of "E" themes, one could add other obvious threads: echo, emancipation, energy, electricity, and eclecticism.
Tamura's echoed trumpet carries most of the program on its shoulders. His mournful cries and painful swoons avoid any connection to traditional jazz. He echoes his trumpet cries with vocalized whimpers, as well as electronic bawls from guitar and synthesizer. Together, they raise a storm that rages out of control.
While Tamura's quartet succeeds in introducing new energy into improvised music and evolving his textural arsenal, he's left any traces of mainstream jazz far behind. Except for Fujii's snippet quote of "Girl from Ipanema" on "Exit," his latest dreamscape adventure remains for the truly creative soul in search of something altogether new.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.