Exposé Online banner

Satoko Fujii Quartet — Zephyros
(Natsat MTJC 3011, 2003, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2004-09-01

Zephyros Cover artMaybe it’s meant as a challenge to the listener, maybe not, but pianist Satoko Fujii has placed the most difficult track on her latest quartet offering first in sequence, as if saying, “You made it through that? Fine, now see what we’ve got.” The first rack starts with an extremely chaotic, pounding, dissonant episode featuring mostly piano and drums, then moves into a wandering solo for electric bass, then the piano and drums get back into the fray, more sparse but just as chaotic, finally, more than seven minutes in, the bass and drums settle into a rolling groove and the trumpet enters with the main theme. From there on out, while there is a lot of improvisation, things are easier. Other tracks feature creative settings for melodies, like a trumpet/bass unison line accompanied by wandering mysterious piano chords in the opening section of “As Usual” which then goes into a quick almost boppish head with the tonal instruments tightly together and the drums setting a breakneck pace. As great as all the players are, in some ways it is Takeharu Hayakawa’s bass that really sets this recording apart: hearing an electric bass in this context is uncommon to say the least, bringing the aggressive (sometimes fuzzed) sound of the bass guitar to the mix. Fujii’s piano is stellar as always, by turns fluid, rhythmic, and totally wigged out. Throughout, the musicians give a wonderful sense of playing together while doing their own thing within Fujii’s inventive compositions.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 30, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Tatsuya Yoshida, Satoko Fujii, Natsuki Tamura

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Koenjihyakkei - Angherr Shisspa – It’s been amusing to read the attempts of reviewers in the alternative / independent press to write about this album. They find the music so strange that they have difficulty describing it, even...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues