4

Satoko Fujii Ma-Do: Time Stands Still

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Satoko Fujii Ma-Do: Time Stands Still In terms of CD releases, pianist Satoko Fujii passed the bandleader baton to her husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, in 2012, resulting in two exceptional albums on the Libra Records label: the trumpet/piano duo outing, Muku, and Forever, from Tamura's European folk music-flavored Gato Libre group. For the always prolific Fujii, a year without a release under her leadership is an oddity. The year 2013 is lining up differently, however, with the debut of the Satoko Fujii New Trio's Spring Storm and, now, from her Satoko Fujii Ma-Do Quartet, Time Stands Still.

This is the third and, sadly, final installment from the Ma-Do quartet. The band's bassist, Norikatsu Koreyasu, passed away unexpectedly in late 2011, at 56 years of age. Time Stands Still, the group's most inspired recording, is proof of how central and essential the bassist was to the ensemble's sound.

The disc opens fittingly, with Koreyasu's otherworldly arco solo on "Fortitude," as the bassist makes sounds that have never been heard before—squeaks and rasps and knocks and alien life form squeals—until the rest of the band eases into the picture with music that is characteristically (at least, in Fujii's world) unpredictable and unfailingly original, moving from steady grooves and ethereal beauty to startling bursts of high-energy, four-way interplay. Trumpeter Tamura blows, as always, with no boundaries. His notes may be straight-ahead and quite conventional, but then he shifts into flutters and dry spits, whispering or growling for a time as Fujii lays down spare, meditative notes or sudden car crashes of sound in league with Akira Horikoshi, a drummer capable of delicate subtlety and nuance, but one who can also respond with an appropriate riot of percussion when the time is right.

There's nobody making music like Fujii. The set's second tune, "North Wind and the Sun," is a passionate, sometimes rollicking and rolling ten-minute symphony suffused with an off-kilter beauty that closes out with small, whispered piano notes. "Time Flies" opens with a trumpeter/drum interlude that segues into a fluid rhythm, riding the bounce of Koreyasu's bass before moving into a jagged soundscape that wanders briefly, only to then rediscover its rubbery groove.

Satoko Fujii Ma-Do was a magnificent band, with perhaps the most cohesive interplay of all of the pianist's groups. With the passing of Norikatsu Koreyasu it will be no more, and that's a crying shame, but Time Stands Still stands as one of Satoko Fujii's strongest and most riveting recordings to date.

Track Listing: Fortitude; North Wind and The Sun; Time Flies; Rolling Around; Set the Clock Back; Broken Time; Time Stands Still.

Personnel: Satoko Fujii: piano; Natsuki Tamura: trumpet; Norikatsu Koreyasu; Akira Horikoshi: drums.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Libra Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Nerve Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Nerve Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 2, 2017
Read "Intenso!" CD/LP/Track Review Intenso!
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "Live In Ludwigshafen 1961" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Ludwigshafen 1961
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2016
Read "Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists" CD/LP/Track Review Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The Moon" CD/LP/Track Review Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The Moon
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 24, 2016
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by John Sharpe
Published: March 30, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!