132

Satoko Fujii Quartet: Vulcan

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Four forward-looking artists combine their experience and creative passion for one smokin' session. Satoko Fujii has consistently maintained that dramatic tension be applied to jazz in moderate doses. Vulcan rises and falls with a natural feeling. Like the world around us, her compositions encounter changes in mood – from violent to gentle, bold and humble – dark and mysterious one moment and sunny the next. It's an album of contrasts.

Trumpeter Natsuki Tamura employs a full, round tone to interpret the various impressions. The program consists of originals that the pianist, trumpeter, and bassist have each contributed. While every piece allows sufficient space for individual expression, the quartet's woven ensemble message takes center stage. Fujii's majestic piano outpouring takes charge. Bombastic one moment and shyly pensive the next, her improvised themes move the ensemble. Drummer Tatsuya Yoshida, who comes from a progressive rock background, combines with bassist Takeharu Hayakawa to knit a forceful rhythmic curtain around the program. Much of the session recalls Ravel.

Bowed acoustic bass and a thundering electric bass facilitate changes in mood. When Fujii describes a scenic, pastoral "Footstep," Tamura contributes birdcalls through his horn. "LH Fast," on the other hand, finds pianist and drummer exhibiting similar, percussive displays of technique. And they're in sync. Step for step, Fujii and Yoshida explore the dynamics of unison force. When Tamura and Hayakawa pursue a ballad unaccompanied, it's with lyrical expression. Half-valve squeezes and open trumpet, minor mode melodies characterize the ballad appropriately. Fujii's "Untitled" moves out on a journey through distant lands. As if the quartet were marching with a conquering army, the piece changes mood from distantly royal to helter-skelter and then placid, before moving off with another marching theme. "Junction" describes Fujii's philosophy of jazz. It's a jam session with enough room for each artist to step outside the mainstream. Hayakawa's fuzzy electric bass and Yoshida's rock beat power the quartet beyond accepted jazz limits. Several times, Fujii stops the action with piano interludes that provide a quiet oasis. Then, the four-pronged high-energy action continues. By moving consistently in and out of the mainstream, Satoko Fujii continues to be one of the most creative voices in contemporary jazz.


Track Listing: The Sun in a Moonlight Night; Incident; Ninepin; Footstep; LH Fast; Neko no Yume; Explorer; Untitled; Junction.

Personnel: Satoko Fujii- piano; Natsuki Tamura- trumpet, toys; Takeharu Hayakawa- bass; Tatsuya Yoshida- CANOPUS drums, voice.

| Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Long After Midnight" CD/LP/Track Review Long After Midnight
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 21, 2016
Read "Honey For The Biscuit" CD/LP/Track Review Honey For The Biscuit
by James Nadal
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Rough Boundaries" CD/LP/Track Review Rough Boundaries
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Zanshin" CD/LP/Track Review Zanshin
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 3, 2016
Read "Time Is Coming" CD/LP/Track Review Time Is Coming
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 13, 2016
Read "Live in New York" CD/LP/Track Review Live in New York
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 8, 2016

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!

Buy it!