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Satoko Fujii: Sketches

Jim Santella By

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At times drifting through the celestial ether, and as times roaring dramatically through the intense fires below, Satoko Fujii lets her ideas flow freely and spontaneously in real time. Improvising in its purist sense, she caresses her piano and coaxes the music out of it.

By employing repetition with each turn of ideas, the artist provides acceptable foundations upon which to build. Hence, the session turns out quite accessible. Fujii’s sketches tour the spectrum of natural wonders, from loud depths of darkness to soft cascades that flow like water.

Plucked piano wires and tones that slide along the instrument’s strings give Fujii the opportunity to create something different. She certainly knows her instrument from the inside out.

She’s at her best, however, when sitting back on the piano bench with both hands on the keyboard and letting her ideas flow. Much of her natural work comes from an appreciation for the blues. The concept is universal. Heartfelt emotion moves one to express naturally. Fujii lets that kind of spirit pervade, and it colors her performance with passion.

Descriptions such as “Dazzling Sunlight” and “Frozen Fire” can easily be applied after the improvisatory exploration has finished its course. Each piece, however, contains much more than what these mere descriptive titles imply. Fujii moves gradually in different directions. She crests and ebbs. Nothing in her approach is sudden or unexpected. As her music flows, you can feel an intuitive agreement with all of her choices. This blind communication lets you absorb the music wholly with every listen. The pianist has given us a world of free-flowing ideas and has connected them naturally through her intuitive use of the universal language.


Track Listing: Seventh Moon, Frozen Fire, Watershed, Tree Rings, Tin Can Cat, Clay Pot, Your Deepening Shadow, Dazzling Sunlight, Looking Back, Looking Everywhere, Look Up

Personnel: Satoko Fujii--piano

Title: Sketches | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: NatSat Music


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