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ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Phillip Johnston Returns with Diggin' Bones and The Adventures of Prince Achmed

Read "Phillip Johnston Returns with Diggin' Bones and The Adventures of Prince Achmed" reviewed by John Kelman

The consequences of change in the music industry have been predicted for some time now but, with far too many blinkered deniers, it's had to begin approaching critical mass before being recognized for what it is: the commoditization and devaluation of music that has led to increasing challenges for musicians looking to maintain any kind of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Alister Spence and Satoko Fujii Orchestra Kobe: Imagine Meeting You Here

Read "Imagine Meeting You Here" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The year 2018 saw two “sounds-you've-never-heard-before" collaborations between Australian composer/pianist/electronics master Alister Spence and Japanese pianist/bandleader Satoko Fujii, the duo recording Intelstat (Alister Spence Music), and Kira Kira (Libra Records) by the Fujii quartet Bright Force. These recordings were part of Fujii's “one CD release per month" celebration of her sixtieth birthday year.

The ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Trios, Trios, Trios and Vlek

Read "Trios, Trios, Trios and Vlek" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

This final show of 2018 is highlighted by trios of the usual piano-bass-drums (Simon Nabatov-Barry Guy-Gerry Hemingway and Elias Stemeseder-James Banner-Ugo Alunni), bass-saxophone-drums (Gonçalo Almeida-Yedo Gibson-Vasco Furtado), and trumpet/saxophone/drums (Flavio Zanuttini-Piero Bittolo Bon-Marco D'Orlando). Pianist Yuko Yamaoka performs the music of Satoko Fujii from Fujii's eleventh release in 2018, and the eclectic Dutch Ensemble, Vlek, makes ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Alister Spence / Satoko Fujii Orchestra Kobe: Imagine Meeting You Here

Read "Imagine Meeting You Here" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

On the heels of a monthly release year, celebrating her sixtieth birthday, Satoko Fujii takes no break as she dives into a new year. Imagine Meeting You Here is a five-part suite for Fujii's improvising Orchestra Kobe. The compositions are by pianist Alister Spence, who acts as producer and conductor of the fifteen-member ensemble. The suite ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Satoko Fujii: the Gift of Music

Read "Satoko Fujii: the Gift of Music" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

One of the most original and prolific voices in jazz today, Satoko Fujii is celebrating 2018, the year of her 60th birthday (which will fall on October 9th), by intensifying her already intense recording schedule. The Japanese pianist and composer will be releasing one CD a month featuring new works for some of her current groups, ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Piotr Baron, Benjamin Deschamps & More

Read "Piotr Baron, Benjamin Deschamps & More" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

Pianist Jacob Sacks summoned some of the best musicians he could find to create Fishes, his latest release for Clean Feed. Saxophonists Ellery Eskelin and Tony Malaby, bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Dan Weiss tackle Sack's quirky compositions and ideas and the result is a great recording. Also in this episode, music from a live performance ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

Big in Japan, Part 3: Satoko Fujii’s Year of Living Dangerously

Read "Big in Japan, Part 3: Satoko Fujii’s Year of Living Dangerously" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

In the first two parts of this series we looked at the origins of jazz in Japan and its adherence to the American style of composing, arranging and playing. Though jazz has been popular in Japan from the earliest days, it was--as in the United States--hardly met with unanimous approval in a country that prized classical ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

John Sharpe's Best Releases Of 2018

Read "John Sharpe's Best Releases Of 2018" reviewed by John Sharpe

Here are 12 new releases which stood out among the 200 or so discs that I heard this year, in no particular order. It's worth noting that Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii set herself the challenge to release a CD every month during 2018, to mark the milestone of her 60th birthday. Her output has been so ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo: Kikoeru - Tribute to Masaya Kimura

Read "Kikoeru - Tribute to Masaya Kimura" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Satoko Fujii closes out the celebration of her sixtieth birthday with her final monthly album of 2018, Kikoeru: Tribute to Masaya Kimura. This album is more than a celebration of one life; it's a cathartic, full-circle tribute to lives that have touched the composer and been integral to her music. This sixth recording from Fujii's Orchestra ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Wayne Horvitz, Kamil Piotrowicz and More

Read "Wayne Horvitz, Kamil Piotrowicz and More" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

This week we focus on a number of intriguing 'firsts.' The playlist includes acclaimed saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock's first foray into composing orchestral works, Wayne Horvitz' first traditional piano trio format recorded in the mountains of Montana, as well as Polish rising star pianist Kamil Piotrowicz and his sextet, Krzysztof Komeda's compositions interpreted by a top Australian ...