468

Minamo: Kuroi Kawa - Black River

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Minamo: Kuroi Kawa - Black River The astonishing double CD Kuroi Kawa—Black River finds pianist Satoko Fujii and violinist Carla Kihlstedt getting together for a second time, after Minamo (Henceforth, 2007). The earlier recording is comprised of two fortuitous live performances that were stunning in how completely at ease these two performers were with each other.

Exhilarated by their remarkable chemistry, Fujii and Kihlstedt (now called Minamo) wanted to record again, but also wanted to bring something new to the experience. The result is evident on the first CD which is made up of eighteen short improvisations that were given evocative names after the fact. These miniatures, most under four minutes, bristle with intense emotions combined with a playfulness that is endearing. Each piece's brevity is counterbalanced by its compactness, but, like their longer, live cousins, has an innate logic and a flow that is inexorable. While each has its own unique sonic universe, "Kibo—Hope" stands out because Fujii plays accordion and Kihlstedt plays trumpet violin.

The second CD was recorded at the 2008 Vancouver International Jazz Festival and is a must-listen for anyone who appreciates "New Music." It's many influences, including world and classical music, can be heard merging into jazz with complete imaginative freedom, that is given shape by the musicians' lightning reflexes.

While there is some overt dissonance, the somewhat atonal music is held together by Kihlstedt's beautiful, full-bodied tone and mysteriously melodic lines. Fujii, as always, is a bundle of compressed energy, supporting the violin with clusters, arpeggios and fragmented runs. The music sounds completely natural and, at times, almost planned until shooting in surprising directions. Continuous inspiration and communication is the norm, providing a ride that is both hair-raising and deeply satisfying.

Jazz is often described as "playing without a net," creating an atmosphere of danger and exhilaration. The music of Fujii and Kihlstedt is paradoxical. While there is absolutely no preconceived scaffolding (the net)—no melody, progression, scale, rhythm or meter marked by much energy and intensity—there is a calmness that comes from the trust the players have in each other.

Kuroi Kawa—Black River is a supreme example of creative improvised music, and its enormous depth will repay in multiple listens many times over.


Track Listing: CD1: Konoha No Sasayaki -The Murmur of Leaves; Kogane Mushi -Scarab; To Ho - East; Rakuda - Camel; Mado Wo Akeru - Open The Window; Eki Deno Ichi Nichi - One Day at the Station; Suiheisen - Between Sky And Water; Koneko - Kitty; Kagami - Mirror; Kibo - Hope; Tsuchi No Naka - In The Ground; Sora No Naka - In The Sky; Arabesque; Maho No Jyutan - Magic Carpet; Amadare - Raindrop; Yume No Naka - In The Dream; Kamikazari - Berette; Chiheisen - Sky And Land. CD2: Kuroi Kawa - Black River; Aoi Saka - Blue Slope; Murasaki No Natsu - Purple Summer; Akai Kaze - Red Wind; Midori No Shinkiro - Green Mirage; Shropi Arashi - White Storm.

Personnel: Carla Kihlstedt: violin, trumpet violin, voice; Satoko Fujii: piano, accordion, voice.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Tzadik | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Rubicon" CD/LP/Track Review Rubicon
by John Kelman
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "The Quest: Live at the A.P.C." CD/LP/Track Review The Quest: Live at the A.P.C.
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 14, 2017
Read "Suite Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Suite Ellington
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Cosmic Nickelodeon" CD/LP/Track Review Cosmic Nickelodeon
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 14, 2016
Read "Roots & Transitions" CD/LP/Track Review Roots & Transitions
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 4, 2016
Read "Of the Tree" CD/LP/Track Review Of the Tree
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 23, 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!