Turbulence is a defining characteristic of Satoko Fujii's big band projects, where sections of collaborative sonic turmoil roar into moments of no-holds-barred soloing, with the segments of quirky tranquility sneaking in the back door.
Undulation, one of four simultaneously released Fujii big band efforts by the ever-prolific pianist/composer/bandleader, features her longest-standing large ensemble, the Satoko Fujii Orchestra NY, a fifteen-piece ensemble that includes some of the Big Apple's most adventurous jazz musicians: reedmen Tony Malaby, Ellery Eskelin and Andy Laster; trumpeters Natsuki Tamura and Steven Berstein; and trombonists Curtis Hasselbring and Joey Sellers.
On Fujii's "Wood"all the tunes on Undulation are by the leaderthe band begins with an incomprehensible chant before they bombast into an adrenaline-juiced marching band mode that skids to a stop to allow Curtis Hasselbring and Joey Sellers to involve themselves in a restrained, thoughtful trombone conversation, until the rhythm pops back in, followed by some classical harmony with the 'bones blowing over the top, in a segment that sounds almost mainstream.
On the title tune, after huge blast of reed/brass wind, Fujii's piano moves center stage, with an opening solo that starts dark and dense before it tranfsorms itself into a delicately pretty sound, like a glass wind chime in a gentle breeze, as bellicose horns blow in trying to shatter the surpisingly durable rectangles of glass.
Fire, a Fujii composition also included on Kobe Yee!! (Crab Apple Records, '06) with her Orchestra Kobe, has an ominous feeling, starting with some rich harmony swelling out of a gentle drum rhythm. Restraint and majesty trade back and forth, and an intricate drum solo gives way to horns that give way to an introspective, sharp-angled reed rumination by Tony Malaby.
Undulation presents Satoko Fujii at the top of her big band game.
We sent a confirmation message to . Look for it, then click the link to activate your account. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, check your spam, bulk or promotions folder.
Thanks for joining the All About Jazz community!