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...

22

Alister Spence / Satoko Fujii: Intelsat

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
This is the ninth of twelve CDs celebrating leading-edge pianist, composer Satoko Fujii's 60th birthday. On this album Fujii and Australian keyboardist Alistir Spence (Barre Phillip, Myra Melford) perform a series of over-the-top duets in front of a live audience in 2017 at the Intelstat jazz venue in Kiracho, Nishio, Japan. The artists first met when Fuji and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura toured Australia in 2007, leading to subsequent collaborations.

The duo's charismatic alliance is teeming with unbridled resourcefulness. Sure, the anticipated alien soundscapes are intact, but this is not classic (old school) ambient-electronica. With her prepared piano, Fujii often strums the piano strings or taps on the piano body in addition to her work on the eighty-eights. The ethereal inventions project a diverse tonal range, but more importantly, the duo's intuitive interplay leads the willing listener on a splintered phantasmagorical journey, embedded with prismatic colors.

Spence seemingly incorporates midi variants and occasionally signals an opaque demarcation between acoustic and electric instruments. On "Narvi" Fujii is patting on the piano strings, and to some extent, it seems like live electronics are being used, although this may not be the case. However, the duo executes faint, inconspicuous melodies that arise and dissipate via some mimicking between piano and synths lines. It's a polytonal feast, as the musicians tread irregular musical turf, including cyclical motifs, uncanny EFX-tinged episodes and a host of compelling oddities.

"Telesto" is a fascinating jaunt due to the pianist's simple block chords separated by rest stops and airy developments in concert with more strings strumming and asymmetrical rhythmic hits. But Spence amps it up via his electric keyboard improv, softened with a few fleeting stabs at humor and bracing contrasts. Whereas, "Dione" is formulated with disparate noises, patterns and soundscapes that pose a sense of containment or happenstance.

The musicians' advancements and interactions are not wanton experiments. It's primarily a different improvisational vehicle to promote a form of cosmic expressionism and multihued sketches. Maybe they're splitting molecules, disrupting the outward movement of sound waves, generating aural illusions or just having some fun by using their wits and eminent improvisational ability. To that end, the fun-factor is sky high.

Track Listing: Mimas; Narvi; Telesto; Fenir; Paaliaq; Dione; Methone.

Personnel: Satoko Fujii: piano; Alister Spence: Fender Rhodes, electric piano, preparations and effects.

Title: Intelsat | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Alister Spence Music

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

Under the Radar
Year in Review
Album Reviews
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

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Runner in the Rain Album Reviews
Runner in the Rain
By Jack Bowers
January 22, 2019
Read Driftglass Album Reviews
Driftglass
By Chris May
January 22, 2019
Read Pure Magic Album Reviews
Pure Magic
By Mark Sullivan
January 22, 2019
Read Vera Album Reviews
Vera
By Jerome Wilson
January 22, 2019
Read Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz Album Reviews
Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz
By Dan McClenaghan
January 21, 2019
Read The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two Album Reviews
The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two
By Victor L. Schermer
January 21, 2019
Read Mesophase Album Reviews
Mesophase
By Glenn Astarita
January 21, 2019