234

Satoko Fujii / Natuski Tamura: In Krakow In November

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Satoko Fujii / Natuski Tamura: In Krakow In November The cover is dark blue with a picture of a city (presumably Krakow) at dusk with a cloudy sky. Lights that have come on are glowing from overexposing the shot. The mood is thus set for the duo of pianist Satoko Fujii and her husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura to present re-workings of pieces recorded in different arrangements from years past. The album has a stark, wide-open sound that creates a serious, introspective mood which matches the one created by the cover.

This being their first duo recording in five years, these new arrangements bring in their current interest in classical music and European folk music. For those readers not familiar with Fujii's or Tamura's music, In Krakow In November could be the perfect introduction, especially when the avant-garde label might frighten. Many pieces have a distinctly classical feel and clear harmony and structure, along with others that are quite free.

The opening track, "Strange Village," originally recorded by Tamura's Gato Libre quartet, is deceptively simple and it sounds very much like a trumpet recital piece at first. However, it is subtly subverted in a number of humorous ways as it progresses. Balancing this is the title tune, which opens with solo trumpet playing the simple melody, but is soon joined by sounds of the piano being played from the inside. Fujii answers with a very romantic piano solo and the slowly builds in emotion. "Morning Mist" could easily be heard as having Claude Debussy's "La Cathédrale Engloutie" (The Sunken Cathedral) as its inspiration.

The freer pieces include "A North Wind," which consists of trumpet sounds (rather than notes) accompanied by piano sounds until the piano breaks out to respond to the trumpet's screams. "A Holothurian" begins with ethereal piano chords supporting a trumpet line consisting of strangled notes, and then it too has the piano break out with rolling chords behind very eerie trumpet sounds.

In between these extremes lies "Ninepin," from Fujii's Live In Japan 2004 (Polystar, 2005), which has a clear but twisting line and a forceful direct rhythm which moves things forward, and "Explorer," with its pixyish humor and interplay.

The album closes with "Inori," which features long, legato lines from Tamura with a romantic piano accompaniment from Fujii. This overtly beautiful performance is a fitting close to what can be called a recital from these two wonderful and very sensitive musicians.

Track Listing: Strange Village; A North Wind; Morning Mist; Ninepin; A Holothurian; In Krakow, In November; Explorer; Inori.

Personnel: Satoko Fujii: piano; Natsuki Tamura: trumpet.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Not Two Records | Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Nigerian Spirit CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960 CD/LP/Track Review Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Chapter Five CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read The Hive CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Steeped" CD/LP/Track Review Steeped
by John Eyles
Published: October 20, 2016
Read "Of Tides" CD/LP/Track Review Of Tides
by John Eyles
Published: March 7, 2017
Read "Spaces" CD/LP/Track Review Spaces
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: June 5, 2016
Read "Alba" CD/LP/Track Review Alba
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 7, 2016
Read "Leap Of Faith" CD/LP/Track Review Leap Of Faith
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 26, 2016
Read "Onward" CD/LP/Track Review Onward
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 2, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!