Exposé Online banner

This Is It! — 1538
(Libra 203 049, 2018, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-07-20

1538 Cover art

This Is It! What is? 1538 is the melting point of iron (in degrees celsius), but 1538 is also the title of the first album by this new Satoko Fujii trio configuration featuring her husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, and percussionist Takashi Itani. Itani was a member of Fujii’s “New Trio” with bassist Todd Nicholson. After their 2013 debut Spring Storm (a great one, highly recommended) Tamura joined the group, now renamed Quartet Tobira, and they recorded Yamiyo ni Karasu in 2014. After Nicholson departed, the remainder of the quartet continued playing as Tobira Minus One, but after a period of time a trio identity emerged and Fujii rechristened the group with a new name, This Is It! This time out, Fujii composed all of the material – some pieces written especially for this trio, but most were taken from a large backlog of compositions that Fujii has on file: “When I sit at the piano, I always compose for 15 minutes before I begin to practice. After doing this for more thn ten years, I have 12 books of written compositions.” When she starts to compose a new piece, she turns to those pieces as seeds for a new compositions. 1538 begins with the title track, a free jazz opening featuring some manic trumpeting that sounds very much like someone’s blood-curdling scream, all laid down before the piece starts to take shape under the guidance of Fujii’s pano. Itani’s drumming and percussion is truly spirited and gives the piano chaotic counterpoint. If that opening ride is a little too wild for you, one can always settle in on the more subtle “Riding on the Clouds” where Itani and Tamura ply a more gentle path for what seems like an improvisation flight for Fujii that gradually takes shape step by step into a beautifully melodic suite. “Climb the Rapids” takes a more tightly composed approach with some majestic and stirring piano and great passages for trumpet. The closer, “Yozora,” is the album’s longest track at just over thirteen minutes, with the first four being a stretch of near inauduble percussives, squeaks from the trumpet, and occasional single piano notes, but by the six minute mark the piece has taken shape into a recognizable form with all players firing on all cylinders. Here esecially, Tamura blows out some beautiful melodies and free-form wailing bursts of color while Fujii’s sparkling piano dances around it all. I’m not sure if there is more to come from this trio configuration or if this is it, but it does represent another magical facet of Fujii’s body of work.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Satoko Fujii, Natsuki Tamura, This Is It!

More info
http://satokofujii.bandcamp.com/album/1538

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...

Hawkwind - It Is the Business of the Future to Be Dangerous – The latest incarnation of Hawkwind comprises Dave Brock, Alan Davey, and Richard Chadwick. It Is the Business... takes all but the most open-minded Hawkfan by surprise for one reason: It's so...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues