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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Satoko Fujii Quartet: Live At Jazz Room Cortez

Read "Live At Jazz Room Cortez" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

As prolific as Satoko Fujii is, she has never sacrificed quality for quantity. With a half-dozen leader/co-leader releases in just the past year, no two albums have conveyed redundancy, and none have fallen short of her serious artistic standards. Following the live sessions that led to Satoko Fujii's solo recording Invisible Hand (Cortez Sound, 2017), the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Satoko Fujii Quartet: Bacchus

Read "Bacchus" reviewed by Budd Kopman

The jazz of today is the most vibrant ever. It has shaken off the straitjacket of “jazz as style," replacing it with the concept of “jazz as an attitude or aesthetic." Paradoxically, the music produced by the players embracing this concept is called avant-garde; primarily because it cannot be immediately pigeonholed and is inherently challenging. In ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Satoko Fujii Quartet: Bacchus

Read "Bacchus" reviewed by Troy Collins

With a discography of forty plus albums featuring ensembles ranging from intimate duos to big bands, pianist Satoko Fujii is one of Japan's most prolific and versatile jazz artists. The fifth record by her long- standing quartet, Bacchus is preceded by the similarly titled Vulcan (Libra, 2001), Minerva (Libra, 2002), Zephyros (Natsat, 2003) and Angelona (Libra, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Satoko Fujii Quartet: Bacchus

Read "Bacchus" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

You'll often hear jazz artists say that they don't like to call their music “jazz." The word, after all, is a label, and labels confine--if you take them seriously/and or let them. Pianist Satoko Fujii may or may not label her music (it's doubtful), but there are certainly no constraints on the sounds she makes.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Satoko Fujii Quartet: Angelona

Read "Angelona" reviewed by Jim Santella

Forming a progressive alliance of jazz and rock, Satoko Fujii unleashes Angelona with a flash-bang authority that grabs you hard and fast. It's her quartet's best performance to date. While Vulcan (2001) was named after the Roman god of fire, Minerva (2003) was named after the Roman goddess of wisdom, and Zephyros (2004) was named after ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Satoko Fujii Quartet: Zephyros

Read "Zephyros" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Satoko Fujii has the capability of making music in several different contexts and breathing life into each one of them. She is back with her quartet for a third album—and if hope springs eternal, that hope is fully realised. The elements of surprise and change are the constants which make listening to her and her band ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Satoko Fujii Quartet: Zephyros

Read "Zephyros" reviewed by Jim Santella

Swirling with unbridled energy, Satoko Fujii’s quartet forges ahead with creative improvised music that swings. Jazz has to grow. Here’s an ensemble of forward-looking artists who assure us that it will. Natsuki Tamura’s open trumpet provides a warm and resolute companionship to the pianist’s highly charged dynamism. Fujii moves around the grand piano’s ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Satoko Fujii Quartet: Zephyros

Read "Zephyros" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The opening cut on Zephyros, “The Future of the Past," rumbles in like a thunderstorm, full of bass/drum thunder and scattered piano precipitation, cold rain and spatterings of hail, sudden downpours and sharp cracklings of shattering icicles, a prelude to the eye-of-the-storm, ruminative bass solo full of dark omens and sporadic raindrops punctuating the warning.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Satoko Fujii Quartet: Minerva

Read "Minerva" reviewed by Jim Santella

With its second album, the Satoko Fujii Quartet takes off. Minerva – the Roman goddess of wisdom, invention, the arts, and martial prowess – must surely be looking down from her high abode these days and smiling. Perhaps Lester Bowie and Don Pullen are sitting alongside her. After all, they share Minerva’s respect for invention and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Satoko Fujii Quartet: Minerva

Read "Minerva" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist/composer Satoko Fujii--who as much as anybody out there defies the category trap--has recorded in a variety of settings: solo, duo, trio, big band. On 2001's Vulcan, with a quartet, she created arguably her most entrancing sound to date as she teamed with trumpeter (and her husband) Natuki Tamura, bassist Takeharu Hayakawa and drummer Tatsuya Yoshida ...


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