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COFID- 19

In the current climate we are doing our best to keep everyone up to date. All gigs, as we all know, are off.

However, good old YouTube has plenty to offer both old and new to help us survive whilst housebound. Plus now is a good time to stock up on your CDs.

Also, keep an eye out for live streaming sessions.

Alternatively, you could do as they do in Italy and sing from your balcony.

Today

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.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

A Brace of Albums from Satoko Fujii - Time Stands Still & Spring Storm.

(Review by Steve H)
Satoko Fujii is a Japanese classically trained avant garde pianist, multi bandleader and composer and that information is probably enough for you to decide whether you will enjoy these CD’s or not. However if you are willing to give  ‘Free Jazz’ a go then I'm sure you will get a lot out of these fascinating and intricate discs.
MA-DO – Time Stands Still
Satoko Fujii (Piano); Natuski Tamura (Trumpet); Norikatsu Koreyasu(Bass); Akira Horikoshi (Drums)
Due to the untimely death at the age of 56 of bass player Norikatsu Koreyasu this is the quartet’s third and final album. Many of the titles bear a relationship to time making the album even more of a poignant memorial to the late bassist. 
Setting off with Fortitude this has a scratching bass intro before other instruments join in, shrill trumpet from Tamura (Fujii’s husband) and then wild discordant piano playing from Fujii gets the whole thing going. North  Wind and the Sun starts atmospherically before a very lively trumpet solo takes it out. It then moves into a surprisingly melodic and tuneful section before  Fujii  erupts with another wild solo and concludes with some ferocious ensemble playing.
Time Flies is a showcase for the drumming of Horikoshi. Rolling Around is a slow short gentle minimalist number with a wolf like feel to it. Set The Clock Back is trumpet led with some very wistful bass from the late Koreyasu. Broken Time is a slow burner which proceeds into an exhilarating thrash followed by a quiet gentle passage before  ending on a booming high. Time stands Still is a very sad haunting and touching conclusion to not only this album but also to the recording career of this fine quartet.

Satoko Fujii New Trio  - Spring Storm
Satoko Fujii ( Piano);Todd Nicholson(Bass);Takshi Itani (Drums)
Spring Storm is the trio’s debut album.
This album kicks off the title song Spring Storm a  slow, quiet, mellow, classical piano solo before bass and drums join in as the tempo and the volume increases. It seems to change tack just about halfway through with a more gentle almost melodic section before progressing to some high tempo rousing activity by the ensemble. Convection  has a plucked bass intro leading into some  rumbling up tempo piano before progressing into a 100 mph gallop.
 Fuki sees Fujii playing wildly and exhilaratingly whilst her partners interject with subtle additions climaxing with a raging drum solo. Next up is the oddly named Whirlwind  as this is the  least ‘stormy’ track on the album! Maebure the longest piece features Nicholson on a long, mournful, bowed bass introduction before  Fujii and Itani burst in giving us a driving tour de force. The mood than changes once again and the song subsides to a melancholy close. The album concludes with Tremble.  An andante piano  piece accompanied by some very complimentary cymbal work by Itani.
If you’re looking for Summertime this album ain’t going to do it for you but Spring Storm is an interesting, enjoyable and worthwhile listen.
Steve H.


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