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.

132

Junk Box: Fragment

By

Sign in to view read count
The prolific and omnidirectional pianist/composer/bandleader Satoko Fujii premieres her "Com-Impro" concept with this recording by her Junk Box trio. She states: "I don't use traditional music notation... for these pieces. I use words and some graphic notation. Although this kind of notation is not so new for contemporary music, it is a new avenue for me to explore."

Junk Box brings percussionist John Hollenbeck together with Fujii and her long-time partner, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura. Methodology aside, the music created is full of vivid imagery, textural surprises, canny contrasts, subtle shadings, dollops of manic intensity and a healthy dose of humor. The latter is particularly effective in the surrealistic montage of "your neighbors." Snippets of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, "The Shadow of Your Smile" and "Anchors Aweigh" skitter amidst abstruse brass squiggles and a collage of rock, waltz and march rhythms.

Fujii's neighbors apparently have somewhat better taste than my neighbors do: the ubiquitous boom-boom-boom of gangsta rap less the voices is missing, though it's hinted at in her ominous low-register piano rumblings. "Getting Lost on a Snowy Day" and "At Intersection on a Rainy Day" appear to utilize laptop or some form of electronic manipulation of the acoustic sounds, although no mention is made of this in the credits. Tamura's mastery of extended techniques makes it difficult to say for sure what is produced by embouchure, wind and brass, and what is produced or altered by electronics. Fujii's inside-the-box hijinks similarly blur the line.

But it's the ends rather than the means that are important here. Tamura's breath control and purity of tone—when he chooses to play more "conventionally" as on much of "looking out of the window"—are phenomenal too. Junk Box is tripartite creativity at a very high level.


Track Listing: A Dream In The Dawn; Ants Are Crossing The Highway; Getting Lost On A Snowy Day; At Intersection, On A Rainy Day; Looking Out Of The Window; Your Neighbors; Wok Cooking; Tin Can Godzilla; Cat's Nap; Lullaby.

Personnel: Natsuki Tamura: trumpet; Satoko Fujii: piano; John Hollenbeck: percussion.

Title: Fragment | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Libra Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

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 I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert
by Jerome Wilson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read 20 CD/LP/Track Review 20
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read "May I Introduce To You" CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by James Nadal
Published: August 23, 2017
Read "Mercerville" CD/LP/Track Review Mercerville
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 31, 2017
Read "The Final Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "The Cheap Ensemble" CD/LP/Track Review The Cheap Ensemble
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 10, 2017
Read "Jazz Triangle 65-77" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Triangle 65-77
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 20, 2017
Read "Think Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Think Ahead
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 2, 2017