All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...

403

Satoko Fujii Min-Yoh Ensemble: Fuijin Raijin

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii's artistic restlessness is given full flower on Fujin Raijin, her first album of Min'yo compositions. Classically trained, Fujii is one of today's most eclectic jazz figures, leading ensembles that range from intimate chamber duos to full-sized big bands. Long fascinated by the emotional directness of Min'yo (traditional Japanese folk music), Fujii finally takes the plunge with a mix of traditional and original pieces.

Fujii is joined by her usual foil, husband and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, and two New Yorkers—trombonist Curtis Hasselbring and accordionist Andrea Parkins. Tamura's acoustic Gato Libre ensemble, featuring Fujii on accordion, traffics in conceptually similar territory. Where Gato Libre mines European folk traditions with bucolic moderation, Fujii's Min-Yoh ensemble explores a similar but more impassioned variation on Japanese folk tunes.

At its core, Min'yo is utilitarian folk music, often used to accompany labor with call and response structures, similar in a sense to the Negro Spirituals of the American South. Fujii opens and closes the album with her own arrangements of traditional Min'yo pieces, which flow seamlessly into the originals.

Fujii's pieces unfold gradually, moving at an unhurried pace. Unimpeded by a traditional rhythm section, the quartet plies rubato rhythms with elastic finesse and regal patience. Developments arrive episodically with modulations in dynamic intensity. The quartet trades pregnant silences and whispered musings one moment, ascending into ebullient polyphony the next, only to drift back into the ether again.

Drawing heavily on free jazz conventions, the quartet members regularly employ a variety of extended techniques for maximum expression. Fujii plays inside the piano, scraping her strings, Tamura juggles mutes and half-vale effects, Parkin's accordion wheezes sub-harmonic tones that sound like electronic transmissions and Hasselbring delivers blurred lines of blustery urgency.

Blending the buoyant optimistic anthems and yearning sorrow of folk music with the turbulent drama of free jazz, Fujin Raijin is a singular experiment in crossing Japanese traditional music with western concepts of the avant-garde. A fascinating record; one never expects anything less from Satoko Fujii.


Track Listing: Itsuki No Komoriuta; Champloo; Shimanto; Slowly and Slowly; Fujin Raijin; Kariboshi Kiriuta.

Personnel: Satoko Fujii: piano; Natsuki Tamura: trumpet; Curtis Hasselbring: trombone; Andrea Parkins: accordion.

Title: Fuijin Raijin | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Victo

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

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

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
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
Mizu

Mizu

Long Song Records
2018

buy
Solo

Solo

Libra Records
2018

buy
Solo

Solo

Libra Records
2018

buy

Related Articles

Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Light Of Love CD/LP/Track Review
Light Of Love
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Heaven Steps To Seven CD/LP/Track Review
Heaven Steps To Seven
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 23, 2018
Read In The Blue Light CD/LP/Track Review
In The Blue Light
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2018
Read Dreams And Other Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read "The Chicago Blues Box 2" CD/LP/Track Review The Chicago Blues Box 2
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "Borderline Inspirations" CD/LP/Track Review Borderline Inspirations
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 14, 2018
Read "Surface of Inscription" CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "After The Fall" CD/LP/Track Review After The Fall
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 13, 2018
Read "UpRoot" CD/LP/Track Review UpRoot
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 2, 2017
Read "The Last Night At The Old Place" CD/LP/Track Review The Last Night At The Old Place
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 31, 2018