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Satoko Fujii Trio: Illusion Suite

Jim Santella By

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Jazz's modern mainstream continues to grow with the help of creative artists such as those featured on this lively session. Pianist Satoko Fujii leads with a powerful force that captivates. Accessible for traditional bebop as well as avant-garde listeners, her music stirs the imagination. Scenes of various emotional themes cast a long shadow over the trio's work. Containing ample space between changes in mood, her interpretations have plenty of room to breathe.

Bassist Mark Dresser expresses with myriad textural ideas. His bowed lines and punctuated pizzicato phrases lend a vibrant spirit. Drummer Jim Black adds variety in the multiple textures that he contributes. Dresser, Fujii and Black have been developing their cohesive sound for eight years. Together, they contrast pleasant melodies with dramatic forces into one big picture. Impressionistic, the music allows the trio's audience an independent search for underlying meaning.

A New Orleans shuffle or a lively samba strut may indicate celebration, or it may simply be a path to higher emotions. A dreamy ballad swirl may indicate smooth going, and an eerie outtake may portend change. It's up to the listener. What ensues, however, stirs the imagination dynamically. Fujii's trio never lets up. With every phrase, their audience is treated to more dramatic thoughts. A highly energetic pianist, a rollicking acoustic bassist, and a versatile drummer join forces on Illusion Suite to combine jazz's tradition with leading-edge ideas.

Track Listing: Illusion Suite, An Irregular Course, Flying to the South, An Insane Scheme

Personnel: Satoko fujii--piano; Mark Dresser--bass; Jim Black--drums

Title: Illusion Suite | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: NatSat Music

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