Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

8

Amu: Weave

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
The year-long Satoko Fujii sixtieth-birthday project enters its final quarter in autumn 2018 with the stellar Weave. In a year of surprising and unusual releases, her newly assembled quartet—Amu—represents Fujii at her most unconventional yet accessible. The group includes Fujii's husband and frequent partner Natsuki Tamura on trumpet and percussion, drummer and percussionist Takashi Itani and percussive dancer Mizuki Wildenhahn. The mixed-media release consists of an audio disc and a DVD that features six of the seven audio pieces; the two components do not represent a zero-sum game for the listener/viewer but certainly enhance the overall experience.

Itani has a deep history with Fujii having been part of one of her namesake quartets, and the Tobira quartet, as well as her New Trio on Spring Storm (Libra Records, 2013). Itani self-released a solo album in Japan, Somehow, Dreamlike (2013) where he played piano in addition to drums. Wildenhahn's relationship with Fujii dates back to 2008 when she began incorporating dance into the pianist's live performances. She was also part of the Fujii quartet known as Dos Dos, a group that features on the Weave line up (minus Faín Dueñas as the drummer and percussionist). Wildenhahn's percussive dance has also been featured on a recording by pianist Aki Takase and saxophonist Silke Eberhard.

Wildenhahn's movements, and the scraping and rustling of Tamura's trumpet, set the stage for the cinematic sweep of Fujii's piano as the seventeen-minute "Megosona" opens the set. Building in force, Itani exercises restraint in keeping the drum kit from obscuring all other percussive effects even as he subtly drives the piece forward. Fujii and Tamura escalate the music to a fevered pitch before the trumpeter slows the pace with a more natural solo. Each of the selections on Weave is improvised though they sometimes sound more fully scored. There is a great deal of variety in the program as with "Nesimo"—an extended technique trumpet and percussion piece, and "Ubega," a largely abstract piece wrapped around Fujii's discordant piano. "Rimaketo" is a remarkable achievement on its own; a fascinating meeting of percussion and rhythm.

Dancing and drumming have always been intrinsically linked in West African, Indian and Afro-Cuban culture. In assorted modern variations, the combination has been the basis for the off-Broadway show Stomp and can be heard as recently as drummer Royal Hartigan's solo tap-dancing on Ancestors (Innova Recordings, 2010). The mix however remains a rarity in recorded music. A full appreciation of Weave can best be realized after watching the DVD performance. The visual not only adds clarity to the three percussion contributors, but provides a memorable humanization of Fujii's always demanding and complex approach to music.

Track Listing: Megosona; Nesimo; Ubega; Bittagando; Gorondari; Rimaketo; Hajori.

Personnel: Satoko Fujii: piano; Natsuki Tamura: trumpet, percussion; Takashi Itani: percussion; Mizuki Wildenhahn: percussive dance.

Title: Weave | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Libra Records

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Long Journey

Long Journey

Satoko Fujii
Mizu

Available Gravity

Available Gravity

Satoko Fujii
Triad

Hypnotique Sympathie

Hypnotique Sympathie

Satoko Fujii
Atody Man

Liberation

Liberation

Satoko Fujii
Aspiration

Kunpuu

Kunpuu

Satoko Fujii
Kisaragi

Thought

Thought

Satoko Fujii
Invisible Hand

Ichigo Ichie 2

Ichigo Ichie 2

Satoko Fujii
Ichigo Ichie

Potential Energy

Potential Energy

Satoko Fujii
Yamiyo Ni Karasu

Running Around

Running Around

Satoko Fujii
Uminari

Gen Himmel

Gen Himmel

Satoko Fujii
Shiki

Under the Radar
Year in Review
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Atody Man

Atody Man

Libra Records
2018

buy
Bright Force

Bright Force

Libra Records
2018

buy
Ninety-Nine Years

Ninety-Nine Years

Libra Records
2018

buy
Mizu

Mizu

Long Song Records
2018

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Bulería Brooklyniana Album Reviews
Bulería Brooklyniana
By Dan Bilawsky
January 23, 2019
Read At The Hill Of James Magee Album Reviews
At The Hill Of James Magee
By Mark Corroto
January 23, 2019
Read Stomping Off From Greenwood Album Reviews
Stomping Off From Greenwood
By Mike Jurkovic
January 23, 2019
Read Live: The Rites of Spring Festival 2018 Album Reviews
Live: The Rites of Spring Festival 2018
By Roger Weisman
January 23, 2019
Read Runner in the Rain Album Reviews
Runner in the Rain
By Jack Bowers
January 22, 2019
Read Driftglass Album Reviews
Driftglass
By Chris May
January 22, 2019
Read Pure Magic Album Reviews
Pure Magic
By Mark Sullivan
January 22, 2019