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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: ALBUM REVIEWS

Satoko Fujii / Yuko Yamaoka: Diary 2005-2015: Yuko Yamaoka Plays the Music of Satoko Fujii

Read "Diary 2005-2015: Yuko Yamaoka Plays the Music of Satoko Fujii" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Diary 2005-2015: Yuko Yamaoka Plays the Music of Satoko Fujii is the eleventh of twelve releases to be issued as part of Satoko Fujii's year-long, sixtieth birthday celebration. The previous ten releases this year have shown us an exceptional artist as she works in a variety of musical modes, and in formations from solo to orchestra, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Amu: Weave

Read "Weave" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The year-long Satoko Fujii sixtieth-birthday project enters its final quarter in autumn 2018 with the stellar Weave. In a year of surprising and unusual releases, her newly assembled quartet--Amu--represents Fujii at her most unconventional yet accessible. The group includes Fujii's husband and frequent partner Natsuki Tamura on trumpet and percussion, drummer and percussionist Takashi Itani and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Satoko Fujii: Live at Big Apple in Kobe

Read "Live at Big Apple in Kobe" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Another new formation marks the eighth entry in the sixtieth-birthday series of monthly releases from Satoko Fujii. As part of the pianist's year long celebration, she has released albums as a solo performer, a duo (with Joe Fonda), a new trio configuration with Fonda and Italian saxophonist Gianni Mimmo and another with Tamura and drummer Takashi ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

This is It!: 1538

Read "1538" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

For 2018, the year of her 60th birthday, pianist and composer Satoko Fujii has set herself the task of releasing a CD every month in all sorts of configurations, from solo piano and duos to small groups and orchestras. Her trio, This is It!, is a new group derived from an earlier quartet that featured bassist ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...