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Album Review

Yuko Fujiyama, Graham Haynes, Ikue Mori: Quiet Passion

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Yuko Fujiyama, Graham Haynes, Ikue Mori: Quiet Passion
Pianist Yuko Fujiyama does not routinely release music. When she does, it is always for a special purpose. This trio recording, Quiet Passion, was preceded by Night Wave (Innova Recordings, 2018) and, like her previous album, she is joined by cornetist Graham Haynes. The trio is completed by fellow Japanese- born expatriate Ikue Mori a longtime mainstay of New York's Downtown scene. Fujiyama, a Cecil Taylor devotee, has maintained the essence of Taylor's art but, through the years, she has stripped the great man's music down. Her music is not unlike a Japanese haiku which can capture, in seventeen syllables, the ethos of a much lengthier and thickset poem.

The music on Quiet Passion merges the improvisation of the acoustic instruments, Fujiyama's piano and Haynes' cornet, with electronics. Mori is a master of electronic processing who can mold her instrument to her will and not the other way around. Haynes investigates the possibilities of electronics here also. Listeners of his work with Hardedge (aka Velibor Pedevski) will be familiar with this blending of instrumentation. Fujiyama presents her work here in solo, duo and trio settings. Opening with a one-note blast of cornet, "Prologue" dives headfirst into a stuttering recitation which pulls in seemingly disparate directions, piano and cornet bouncing off a storm of electronic percussion. The music finds its level in this cooperative improvisation. The same can be said of the remainder of the tracks. The trio's work on "Whispering Universe" finds both Haynes and Mori manipulating the electric fields while Fujiyama works her piano's insides, all of which makes for a phantasmic sound. Fujiyama's two brief piano solo tracks reveal an ever-patient yet tenacious approach to a minimal, emblematic Cecil Taylor sound.

Track Listing

Prologue; Leggiero; Kurikaesu; Whispering Universe; Agitato; Dialogue; Piano Solo 1; Improvisational Suite; Sadness Is; Piano Solo II; Quiet Passion I; Quiet Passion II; Quiet Passion III.

Personnel

Yuko Fujiyama: piano; Graham Haynes: cornet; Ikue Mori: electronics.

Additional Instrumentation

Yuko Fujiyama: voice; Graham Haynes: electronics.

Album information

Title: Quiet Passion | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Intakt Records

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