Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

261

Satoko Fujii with Natsuki Tamura: Chicago, Illinois, June 27, 2011

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Satoko Fujii with Natsuki Tamura
Pianoforte
Chicago, Illinois
June 27, 2011

The intimate salon at Pianoforte, Chicago's premier piano shop and performance venue, was extremely well suited for Satoko Fujii's intensely personal, introspective music, especially in the solo and duet formats. This was Fujii's much anticipated Chicago debut and she did not disappoint.

Opening with a lullaby-like tune inspired by her noisy piano seat at home, she laid down a sparse and deceptively simple succession of notes with her left hand, and with her right simulated her old bench's groans and creaks with a crumbled plastic bag and an empty water bottle. The noise these objects made not only did not distract from the music, it enhanced the intimacy of the atmosphere. She then launched into two longer and more complex pieces replete with her trademark atonal rhythms and unusual time signatures. Her dynamic pianism blurred the lines between composition and improvisation—even though one of the tunes was written originally for a large ensemble while the other for a trio, they sounded superbly fitting for a solo pianist.

After the first 45 minutes Fujii asked her husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, to join her on the sparsely decorated stage dominated by the Fazioli piano. Tamura's clean, angular and laconic horn lines underscored Fujii's own musical vision and pushed her flights of improvisational fancy further out into freer realms. Her playing in return reflected and enhanced his solo forays. The extreme compatibility of the two musicians resembled a 21st century version of the historic cornet/piano duet of King Oliver and Jelly Roll Morton. In both cases a pair of forward looking improvisers with a common musical vision enriched each other's creativity.

A blues-tinged duet of alternating crisp, short piano and trumpet lines ended the sublime recital after exactly 90 intellectually-stimulating and satisfying minutes, leaving behind a disappointing silence and the frustration of inability to capture and preserve this stirring hour and a half, except in memory.

Related Video

Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read ECM Showcase at NYC Winter Jazzfest 2017 Live Reviews ECM Showcase at NYC Winter Jazzfest 2017
by Tyran Grillo
Published: January 22, 2017
Read An Evening with Pat Metheny at The Barre Opera House Live Reviews An Evening with Pat Metheny at The Barre Opera House
by Doug Collette
Published: January 20, 2017
Read Houston Person at Kiawah Island, South Carolina Live Reviews Houston Person at Kiawah Island, South Carolina
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 10, 2017
Read Buenos Aires Jazz Festival 2016 Live Reviews Buenos Aires Jazz Festival 2016
by Mark Holston
Published: January 9, 2017
Read Jazztopad 2016, Part 1 Live Reviews Jazztopad 2016, Part 1
by Henning Bolte
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Suoni Per Il Popolo 2016" Live Reviews Suoni Per Il Popolo 2016
by Mike Chamberlain
Published: July 1, 2016
Read "Josh Lawrence Quintet at Chris’ Jazz Café" Live Reviews Josh Lawrence Quintet at Chris’ Jazz Café
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: February 9, 2016
Read "Sari Kessler: Live At The Kitano" Live Reviews Sari Kessler: Live At The Kitano
by Tyran Grillo
Published: May 10, 2016
Read "Kurt Elling With The Keith Ganz Trio at Jazz Standard" Live Reviews Kurt Elling With The Keith Ganz Trio at Jazz Standard
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "The Julian Lage Trio at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews The Julian Lage Trio at SFJAZZ
by David Becker
Published: September 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!