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On her first solo record in eight years, Satoko Fujii gives free rein to her impulses. Her approaches are many and she constructs each piece with careful articulation. Her thoughts may run rampant or flow in placid ripple, but there is no denying that she brings in a strong technique that creates some magnetic moments.
Fujii makes judicious use of space. She can invent room so that they fall into the nooks she has shaped or drop clusters that reverberate and thunder through a two-handed attack. At first the pace is all too deliberate on the opening tune, but she soon weaves a pattern that adds vibrancy as her hands dance over the keyboards. This brings us to another tune, and another approach. Calling "Tin Can Cat" a tune would be an exercise in imagination, for she does not play one. Instead she uses everything that the piano has to set up a temperate exercise in rhythm, and never a musical note. There is a more linear approach and a melody that sings of the blues on "Clay Pot," a nice one indeed. In contrast comes the whirlwind of "Frozen Fire," heated and whipped with her hammer-lock attack, her accents sharp, scathing and dizzying. All of this makes looking forward to her next worth the while.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach. I fell in love with it. I wondered around until the owner (Pedro Soto) asked if I needed help. He then introduced me to John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan and the rest is history. I walked out of the store with my first jazz recording: Clifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin Street.