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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

CD Reviews: Gato Libre - Forever/ Natsuki Tamura and Satoko Fujii - Muku

Natsuki Tamura (tpt);  Satoko Fujii (acc); Kazuhiko Tsumura (gtr); Norikatsu Koreyasu (bs).
(Review by Lance.)
I can count on one finger the number of Japanese jazz CDs I've listened to over the years then, lo and behold, two come at once.
Forever, recorded September 2011 is a dirge-like collection of originals by Tamura. His style reminds me somewhat of the Polish trumpet player Tomasz Stanko. Long notes, probing phrases - licks they ain't - a complete absence of any form of rhythm but packed with what I guess you might describe as emotional content
.
Guitarist Tsumura has a few moments of beauty and Fujii, on accordion, produces some drone-like sounds behind the trumpet's searching lines. Bassist Koreyasu, who died shortly after this recording,  adds a feeling of atonality to his arco work. It's difficult to pigeon-hole. There's a feeling of freedom about it yet it doesn't stray too far from the bounds of convention - I wish it would, at least it would have kept me awake. A few quavers and semi-quavers thrown into the mix wouldn't have gone amiss either. 
I could listen to any one of the eight tracks, no problem, but en masse ? - Sorry.
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Tamura and Fujii (Mrs Tamura) shed bass and guitar for the duo recording - Muku. Fujii swaps her accordion for piano and the results are considerably freer, enjoyable at times, but equally frustrating. Tamura blows lyrical phrases only for him to finish them with some strange noises whilst Fujii alternates tenderness with what I think of as forearm smash piano playing. 
In Paris, In February is the exception - it is quite delightful.
And in fact there are good things here but, for this reviewer, not enough of them.
Both CDs are released on Libra Records.
Lance.

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