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This Is It!: 1538

Read "1538" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

At the half-way point of Satoko Fujii's year-long celebration of her sixtieth birthday, she presents a new trio configuration--This is It!--with familiar figures. Her sixth of twelve releases for the year is titled 1538 and features her almost ubiquitous musical partner and spouse Natsuki Tamura and drummer Takashi Itani. The significance of the title lies in ...

This Is It!: 1538

Read "1538" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist/composer Satoko Fujii's June 2018 edition of her CD-release-a-month celebration of her sixtieth birthday introduces a new trio, called This Is It!. The group's debut recording takes its name from the Celsius melting point of iron. The group is a variation on the Satoko Fujii New Trio, a piano trio that released the excellent Spring Storm ...

Kira Kira: Bright Force

Read "Bright Force" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Kira Kira's otherwise all-Japanese lineup includes Australian keyboardist Alister Spence to round out a topsy-turvy experimental soundscape with lateral movements, surging improv, cascadinging keys and free-spirited flareups. Renowned pianist and composer Satoko Fujii and her associates explore a multidimensional territory with avant-garde extremism combined with structured song-forms or themes, and brashly enacted polyrhythms supplied by drummer ...

Kira Kira: Bright Force

Read "Bright Force" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Pianist Satoko Fujii was playing for the Sydney Improvised Music Association in 2007 when she first crossed paths with composer/keyboardist/effects artist Alister Spence. Kindred spirits in terms of boundless musical interests, their initial collaboration took place in 2008 after their respective groups shared the stage at the Tokyo Jazz Festival. Later that year, the two recorded ...

Kira Kira: Bright Force

Read "Bright Force" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The label “music" may be too confining for these sounds. Let us call it an ear-opening sonic experience. That's what pianist Satoko Fujii, with her new group, Kira Kira, has created with a compelling recording called Bright Force.

In the year 2018, every review of Fujii's output will include a prelude describing her decision ...

Satoko Fujii Orchestra Berlin: Ninety-Nine Years

Read "Ninety-Nine Years" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

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, ...

Kaze: Atody Man

Read "Atody Man" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

The second offering in Satoko Fujii's 60th birthday CD-a-month marathon is by her long time quartet, Kaze. The group's instrumentation of two trumpets, piano and drums would lead you to think it's heavily experimental and abstract, but while those elements are present, there is, on Atody Man, always a sense of order to this music with ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Satoko Fujii: Solo

Read "Solo" reviewed by Neri Pollastri

Il 2017 è stato per la pianista giapponese Satoko Fujii un anno di grazia, che l'ha vista pubblicare un impressionante numero di lavori di altissimo livello nelle più diverse formazioni -come Aspiration, in quartetto con Wadada Leo Smith, Natsuki Tamura e Ikue Mori, Trouble Kaze in sestetto, Peace con l'orchestra di Tokio e Invisible Hand in ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kaze: Atody Man

Read "Atody Man" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

What was it drummer Art Blakey said about surviving in the tough, competitive business of being a jazz musician? Something along the lines of: “You're either busy appearing or you're busy disappearing." There might be something to this. Artists who release a recording every three or four years, or who tour sporadically, face the possibility of ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kaze: Atody Man

Read "Atody Man" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Atody Man is the fifth album from the quartet Kaze. Beginning with Rafale (Circum-Libra, 2011), the group--initiated by French drummer Peter Orins--has been one of many showcases for the eclectic music of pianist Satoko Fujii and her husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura. The unusual formation includes a second trumpeter, Christian Pruvost, also from France. Atody Man also ...