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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Francesca Han: Illusion

Read "Illusion" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Pianist Francesca Han's music contains a certain duality. She's a classical and improvising jazz pianist with one foot in the jazz tradition and the other wedged firmly in the door of contemporary jazz. An established jazz musician in South Korea, Han acquired new vocabulary studying and playing in New York, where she also collaborated with composer ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York: Undulation

Read "Undulation" reviewed by Jim Santella

Satoko Fujii's New York big band carries a big stick, blowing away any and all obstacles as the musicians interpret this program of her soul-stirring compositions. Everyone solos on this creative journey into the avant-garde, and Fujii's cohesive orchestra provides a stable foundation. Undulation, the band's sixth album, is tight. These players have been together long ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Satoko Fujii Orchestra NY: Undulation

Read "Undulation" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Turbulence is a defining characteristic of Satoko Fujii's big band projects, where sections of collaborative sonic turmoil roar into moments of no-holds-barred soloing, with the segments of quirky tranquility sneaking in the back door.

Undulation, one of four simultaneously released Fujii big band efforts by the ever-prolific pianist/composer/bandleader, features her longest-standing large ensemble, the Satoko ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Satoko Fujii Four: Live in Japan 2004

Read "Live in Japan 2004" reviewed by Jim Santella

When pianist Satoko Fujii, along with her New York trio and her husband, performed this concert in Saitama, Japan on July 28, 2004, their cohesiveness brought a satisfying sensation before the audience. They built each piece with deliberation and stretched out with a free spirit.

“Illusion Suite" was recorded by Fujii's trio and released ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Satoko Fujii Four: Live in Japan 2004

Read "Live in Japan 2004" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Satoko Fujii creates one of the most original sounds in jazz, in any setting, though the word “jazz" is too confining to describe what she does. The ever-prolific Japanese-born pianist has recorded with about fifteen different ensemble configurations--everything from solo and duo outings to quartets and big bands, and much in between. Live in Japan 2004 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Satoko Fujii: Live in Japan 2004

Read "Live in Japan 2004" reviewed by Kurt Gottschalk

Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii has been one of the most exciting arrangers, as well as a compelling composer and performer, in outside jazz in recent years. Unusually with the company she keeps, improvisation beyond soloing has never been a part of her work. But a recent record shows a new leaning toward improv, to varying results. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Satoko Fujii Orchestra: Blueprint

Read "Blueprint" reviewed by Jim Santella

With her sixteen-piece New York “West" orchestra, Satoko Fujii explodes with a free spirit and unleashed emotions. Her all-star unit of improvising artists operates cohesively in interpreting adventures for which she determines the mood. The result is a program that ranges from intense and dramatic imagery to contemporary celebrations and placid landscapes.

Fujii leads ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Satoko Fujii Orchestra: Blueprint

Read "Blueprint" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Ideas flow by the brimful for Satoko Fujii. If her spate of recordings is not enough evidence, then take a look at the bands she heads. There's the Orchestra East and the Orchestra West (divided between Japan and the USA), the trio with Jim Black and Mark Dresser, her Quartet, and her solo work. You get ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Satoko Fujii Orchestra: Blueprint

Read "Blueprint" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Japanese-born pianist Satoko Fujii's Blueprint, featuring her New York Orchestra, opens with the title cut, a hard-driving, dark-toned, stop-time tune full of gathering momentum and menace, giving the impression of a world plummeting in the direction of chaos--though it never quite goes there. It's the same feeling one gets in listening to Dumas' “The Sorcerer's Apprentice," ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Satoko Fujii Trio: Illusion Suite

Read "Illusion Suite" reviewed by Jim Santella

Jazz's modern mainstream continues to grow with the help of creative artists such as those featured on this lively session. Pianist Satoko Fujii leads with a powerful force that captivates. Accessible for traditional bebop as well as avant-garde listeners, her music stirs the imagination. Scenes of various emotional themes cast a long shadow over the trio's ...