All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

334

Gato Libre: Shiro

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Japanese trumpeter Natsuki Tamura's name is most often mentioned in the press for his work with his wife, Satoko Fujii. The Japanese pianist casts a blinding light with her prolific output, and a fearless and unfettered musical vision. Tamura sits in as either a sideman or collaborator on many, if not most, of her CDs.

If Fujii is superhuman in her output as a leader, Tarmura is closer to mortal, though no less adventurous. He has produced sets as disparate as the electric, sizzling Exit (NatSat Music, 2004), the gentle and incantatory solo disc, Ko Ko Ko Ke (NatSat Music, 2004),the radioactive Hada Hada (Libra Records, 2003), and, with Gato Libre, a string of European folks musings including Shiro.

The Gato Libre discs—Shiro is the fourth in the series—feature the Tamura/Fujii pairing at its most tranquil. The quartet—with Tamura using his trumpet in a mostly traditional, straightforward fashion (seldom the case)—also features bassist Norikatsu Koreya, guitarist Kazuhiko Tsumura, and Fujii, substituting accordion for her primary instrument, the piano.

Gato Libre is not about individual virtuosity, though there is plenty to go around. These are explorations of the southern European sound in a relaxed, introspective, collaborative mode. The group sounds like a band of good friends gathered in a Spanish café at the end of a work week, breaking out the instruments after a good meal and glasses of red wine to create something intimate, something true to the simple beauty of the folk tradition.

"Dune and Star" opens the disc, with Tamura's solo trumpet issuing a plaintive cry. The mood is unhurried and timeless, as his band-mates join him in what sounds like a spare sketch from Miles Davis' classic Sketches of Spain (Columbia, 1960).

As soothing and tranquil as Gato Libre's music can be, the quartet can also—no surprise with Tamura and Fujii involved—get quite "out there." On "Scorpion," the group disassembles the music to a point of near chaos, with Fujji's jittery wheezing and Tamura's pained wails in front of Koreyasu's ominous bowed bass, until Fujii lets out a sigh of release, and the music gels back in the direction of tradition.

Tamura's career has largely been about dissolving musical boundaries. With Gato Libre and Shiro, the trumpeter extends his reach even deeper into the prettiest, most accessible of his endeavors.

Track Listing: Dune and Star; Waterside; Scorpion; Falling Star; Going Back Home; Mountain, River, Sky; Memory of Journey; Shiro.

Personnel: Natsuki Tamura: trumpet; Satoko Fujii: accordion; Kazuhiko Tsumura: guitar; Norikatsu Koreyasu: bass.

Title: Shiro | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Libra Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
  • Nax by Alberto Bazzurro
  • DuDu by Hrayr Attarian
  • DuDu by John Sharpe
  • DuDu by Dan McClenaghan
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
  • Muku by Dave Wayne
  • Muku by Dan McClenaghan
Read more articles
Nax

Nax

Creative Sources Recordings
2015

buy
DuDu

DuDu

Libra Records
2014

buy
Natsuki Tamura: Dragon Nat

Natsuki Tamura:...

Libra Records
2014

buy
 

Dragon Nat

Leo Lab
2013

buy
Muku

Muku

Libra Records
2012

buy
Cut the Rope

Cut the Rope

Libra Records
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read A New Beginning CD/LP/Track Review
A New Beginning
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 23, 2018
Read Onyx Noir - Jazz Works For Brass Quintet CD/LP/Track Review
Onyx Noir - Jazz Works For Brass Quintet
by Gareth Thompson
Published: June 23, 2018
Read Triad CD/LP/Track Review
Triad
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 23, 2018
Read Sketches of American Music CD/LP/Track Review
Sketches of American Music
by Doug Collette
Published: June 23, 2018
Read Three Pictures CD/LP/Track Review
Three Pictures
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 23, 2018
Read Alive In The East? CD/LP/Track Review
Alive In The East?
by Chris May
Published: June 22, 2018
Read "Spiritual Impressions" CD/LP/Track Review Spiritual Impressions
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 16, 2018
Read "Art Zoyd - 44 1⁄2 At A Glance: Selections from the Art Zoyd Box Set" CD/LP/Track Review Art Zoyd - 44 1⁄2 At A Glance: Selections from the...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 14, 2018
Read "Charlie & Paul" CD/LP/Track Review Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read "2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert" CD/LP/Track Review 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "Live in Solothurn" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Solothurn
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 12, 2018
Read "Breathe" CD/LP/Track Review Breathe
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 18, 2018