268

Natsuki Tamura Quartet: In The Tank

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Natsuki Tamura Quartet: In The Tank In a drifting and amorphous way, the sound on In The Tank feels as elemental as a delta blues; the opener, "Walking Squid," comes to life on a spare, tinny plucking of strings, like something you'd hear from Son House or Robert Johnson. Whether the plucking comes from a guitar or from Satoko Fujii reaching inside her piano to finger the strings (she's been known to employ the technique) matters not. The quartet consists of Natsuki Tamura on trumpet, Elliot Sharp on soprano sax and guitar, Takayuki Kato on guitar, and Fujii on piano. But much like some of Miles Davis' output in the late seventies (On the Corner comes immediately to mind) the question of exactly which instrument is making what sound hovers over the proceedings.

What a measured, finely interlocking set of sounds it is, especially considering this is a completely freely improvised performance (recorded in Japan in 2001). There aren't high or low points, no swoops or soarings; the atmosphere remains consistently contained throughout, even when the intensity level rises, as it does a couple of minutes in on the 22-minute "Crowing Crab." The ensemble stays in a tight formation.

Is this pure sound? Appealingly-structured noise? There are times that images of a computer-animated foundry or blacksmith shop come to mind, similar to what you encounter on the Jerry Granelli/Jeff Reilly set Iron Sky (Love Slave, '03). And through the interludes of rock structures, blues shadings, jazz moments, and classical electro sound washes, a feeling of underlying structure and detached watching-the events-from-above serenity remains.

It's best to suspend expectations here—that can be said for just about everything Tamura is involved in—and forget about analyzing or intellectualizing. Let it wash over you; let it seep into your pores.


Track Listing: Walking Squid, Flying Jellyfish, Sinking Shrimp, Crowing Crab

Personnel: Natsuki Tamura--trumpet; Elliot Sharp--soprano saxophone, guitar; Satoko Fujii--piano

Year Released: 2005 | Style: Ambient


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
  • Nax by Alberto Bazzurro
  • DuDu by Hrayr Attarian
  • DuDu by John Sharpe
  • DuDu by Dan McClenaghan
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
  • Muku by Dave Wayne
  • Muku by Dan McClenaghan
Read more articles
John Zorn John Zorn
sax, alto
Jimmy Giuffre Jimmy Giuffre
clarinet
William Parker William Parker
bass, acoustic
Thomas Chapin Thomas Chapin
saxophone
Satoko Fujii Satoko Fujii
piano
Brad Shepik Brad Shepik
guitar
Ken Vandermark Ken Vandermark
saxophone
Henry Grimes Henry Grimes
bass, acoustic
Drew Gress Drew Gress
bass
Bill Dixon Bill Dixon
trumpet

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "And the Rhythm Serenaders" CD/LP/Track Review And the Rhythm Serenaders
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 22, 2016
Read "Otterville" CD/LP/Track Review Otterville
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 11, 2016
Read "1954" CD/LP/Track Review 1954
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Morning Glory" CD/LP/Track Review Morning Glory
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 8, 2016
Read "From Here to There" CD/LP/Track Review From Here to There
by Mark F. Turner
Published: September 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!