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...

6

Satoko Fujii Orchestra Berlin: Ninety-Nine Years

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Three months and three releases into the Satoko Fujii's sixtieth birthday project, the eclectic composer keeps the mix from her musical arsenal, a varied and intriguing monthly adventure. Ninety-Nine Years follows her 2018 Libra releases Solo and Kaze's Atody Man and here Fujii calls out her larger company of Orchestra Berlin. Of her five distinct orchestras, Berlin is the most recently formed having debuted on Libra in 2015 with Ichigo Ichie. The ensemble from the maiden release remains intact with the exception of trumpeter Lina Allemano who replaces Nikolaus Neuser and absence of guitarist Kazuhisa Uchihashi.

Ninety-Nine Years title is Fujii's tribute to the late mother of her husband and musical partner Natsuki Tamura. "Unexpected Incident" opens the album and references the government response to Japan's 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. It's a topic close to Fujii's heart and one that she had previously addressed with a full-album suite on Fukushima (Libra, 2017) with her all-star Orchestra New York. The lengthy piece builds as the frenetic pace of the drums sets up a wailing battle between tenor saxophonist Matthias Schubert and trombonist Matthias Muller.

Bassist Jan Roder's solo ushers in the title track. Paulina 0wczarek's mournful baritone saxophone stands apart on much of the piece and gives it a sense of empathy. "On the Way" changes direction and allows Tamura the opportunity to pour on his trademark eccentricities after some lengthy percussion experimentation. Schubert's own inventiveness is a close match for Tamura's as demonstrated with his blistering performance on "Oops." "Follow the Idea" closes Ninety-Nine Years with the most abstract and raucous piece on the album.

Fujii, as a composer, often emerges out of near silence, patiently building her ideas like muscle and tissue; unflinching and animated, her concepts never wear out their welcome. Her landscapes are deceptive—pastoral and manicured one minute and filled with land mines, the next. Her exceptional orchestra is capable of transforming acoustic instruments into anonymous paraphernalia. Ninety-Nine Years is thought-provoking listening to be sure; continually absorbing and unlike anything else. With nine more albums to come, the sixtieth birthday project is a listener's gift that keeps on giving.

Track Listing: Unexpected Incident; Ninety-Nine Years; On the Way; Oops; Follow the Idea.

Personnel: Matthias Schubert: tenor saxophone; Gebhard Ullmann: tenor saxophone; Paulina Owczarek: baritone saxophone; Natsuki Tamura: trumpet; Richard Koch: trumpet; Lina Allemano: trumpet; Matthias Müller: trombone; Kazuhisa Uchihashi: guitar; Satoko Fujii: piano; Jan Roder: bass; Michael Griener: drums; Peter Orins: drums.

Title: Ninety-Nine Years | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Libra Records

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

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

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

Multiple Reviews
Interviews
Under the Radar
Year in Review
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Stone

Stone

Libra Records
2019

buy
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

Related Articles

Read Poems For Orchestra Album Reviews
Poems For Orchestra
By Friedrich Kunzmann
April 26, 2019
Read We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration Album Reviews
We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration
By Mark Corroto
April 25, 2019
Read Golem Dance Album Reviews
Golem Dance
By Friedrich Kunzmann
April 25, 2019
Read New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4 Album Reviews
New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4
By Dan Bilawsky
April 24, 2019
Read Open Form For Society Album Reviews
Open Form For Society
By Mark Corroto
April 24, 2019
Read Yes Album Reviews
Yes
By John Sharpe
April 24, 2019
Read Avec le temps Album Reviews
Avec le temps
By Mark Sullivan
April 23, 2019