The Squid's Ear Magazine


Fujii, Satoko: Gen Himmel (Libra)

A hauntingly beautiful set of solo piano works from Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii, subtle work that belies her incredible techincal skill through beautifully paced and meditative music.
 

Price: $16.95



Quantity:

In Stock

Quantity in Basket: None

Log In to use our Wish List
Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

Sample The Album:





product information:

Personnel:



Satoko Fujii-piano


Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.




UPC: 4562169330337

Label: Libra
Catalog ID: 201-033
Squidco Product Code: 17844

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2013
Country: Japan
Packaging: Cardstock gatefold foldover
Recorded on September 21st, 2012 by Mike Marciano at Systems Two, New York.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Fujii's first solo album since 2004's Sketches (Polystar), Gen Himmel (German for "toward heaven") is simply one of the most purely lyrical albums Fujii has ever made. She seems to choose each note carefully as she deliberately sets melody and harmony in motion over haunting ostinatos. It's also one of her sparest performances; each track is intensely focused and pared down to only the most essential notes. The less-is-more approach yields ravishing music that phrase-by-phrase reveals powerful and unexpected beauty.

With intense focus, she distills "In the Dusk" and "A.S." down to pure, concentrated melody, each solo building from one motif to the next with an inexorable and always engaging logic. "I Know You Don't Know" and "Saka" are darker meditations, with heavy chords and dusky low notes that still manage a majestic beauty thanks to her deliberate pacing and subtle keyboard touch -- low notes toll like church bells and treble notes glitter and shine. Tracks like "Ittari Kitari" and "Hesitation" are propelled by quirky left hand figures that keep the music moving forward with asymmetric steps. The title track and "Take Right" blend in prepared piano for dazzling displays of improvisation that fully integrates unusual timbres, rhythmic variety, and gorgeous melody. A calm joy permeates the entire album.

"When I play solo, I need to hear to myself and listen carefully," Fujii says. "I also get some inspiration from the silence I hear between notes. For me playing in groups is more about self-expression, and playing solo is more like meditation. I tried to take my time and not push myself too much."-Brathwaite & Katz


Artist Biographies

"Born on October 9, 1958 in Tokyo, Japan, Fujii began playing piano at four and received classical training until twenty, when she turned to jazz. From 1985-87, she studied at Boston's Berklee College of Music, where her teachers included Herb Pomeroy and Bill Pierce. She returned to Japan for six years before returning to the US to study at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where her teachers included George Russell, Cecil McBee, and Paul Bley, who appeared on her debut CD Something About Water (Libra, 1996).

Since then Fujii has been an innovative bandleader and soloist, a tireless seeker of new sounds, and a prolific recording artist in ensembles ranging from duos to big bands. She has showcased her astonishing range and ability approximately 80 CDs as leader or co-leader. With each new recording or new band, she explores new aspects of her art.

Regular collaborations include her New York trio with bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Jim Black, augmented by trumpeter/husband Natsuki Tamura to form the Satoki Fujii Four; her duo with Tamura; the Satoko Fujii Quartet featuring Tatsuya Yoshida of the Japanese avant-rock duo, The Ruins; Orchestra New York, which boasts the cream of New York's contemporary avant garde improvisers, including saxophonists Ellery Eskelin and Tony Malaby, trumpeters Herb Roberton and Steven Bernstein, and trombonist Curtis Hasselbring, among others; Orchestra Tokyo, drawing on that city's best improvisers; Orchestra Nagoya; Orchestra Kobe; the co-operative trio Junk Box with Tamura and percussionist John Hollenbeck; ma-do, a quartet including Tamura on trumpet, bassist Norikatsu Koreyasu, and Akira Horikoshi; the Min-Yoh Ensemble with Tamura, trombonist Hasselbring, and accordionist Andrea Parkins; the Satoko Fujii New Trio, featuring bassist Todd Nicholson and drummer Takashi Itani― plus countless engagements and collaborations with some of the world's most important improvisers."

-Satoko Fujii Website (http://www.satokofujii.com/bio.html)
6/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Gen Himmel 2:35

2. In The Dusk 4:32

3. Hesitation 2:26

4. Take Right 8:06

5. Ram 3:02

6. A.S. 4:03

7. Dawn Broun 2:56

8. Summer Solstice 4:22

9. I Know You Don't Know 4:50

10. Ittari Kitari 2:00

11. Saka 2:33

12. Der Traum 4:33

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Piano & Keyboards
Solo Artist Recordings
Satoko Fujii & Natsuki Tamura's Libra Label

Search for other titles on the label:
Libra.


Recommended & Related Releases:
Kaze (Satoko Fujii / Natsuki Tamura / Christian Pruvost / Peter Orins)
Unwritten
(Circum-Libra / Libra)
The Kaze quartet of trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, pianist Satoko Fujii, trumpeter & flugelhorn player Christian Pruvost and drummer Peter Orins, continues its avant-embracing and uniquely voiced project with this live performance at Lille, France, an episodic and spontaneously diverse set of three collective improvisations of intuitive, adventurous interaction.
Fujii, Satoko Tokyo Trio (Fujii / Sugawa / Takemura)
Jet Black
(Libra)
A trio of leaders in their own right performing pianist Satoko Fujii's demanding compositions, bassist Takashi Sugawa and drummer Ittetsu Takemura rise to the challenge in a set of six exciting works that push and pull this remarkable piano trio in unexpected directions, responding to the twists and turns of Fujii's intense and intricate directions; superlative!
Kaze (Satoko Fujii / Natsuki Tamura / Christian Pruvost / Peter Orins)
Unwritten
(Circum-Libra / Libra)
The Kaze quartet of trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, pianist Satoko Fujii, trumpeter & flugelhorn player Christian Pruvost and drummer Peter Orins, continues its avant-embracing and uniquely voiced project with this live performance at Lille, France, an episodic and spontaneously diverse set of three collective improvisations of intuitive, adventurous interaction.
Fujii, Satoko
Torrent (Piano Solo)
(Libra)
The ninth solo album from pianist Satoko Fujii, the most recent in a "torrent" of solo releases over the last six years, this album a remarkable display of force and beauty in improvised playing on the keyboard and inside the piano, captured live at IYO Yume Mari Kan Bunka Hall in six improvisations of cascading notes and introspective passages; spectacular!
Kaze with Satoko Fujii / Natsuki Tamura / Christian Pruvost / Peter Orins & Ikue Mori
Crustal Movement
(Circum-Libra)
The cooperative Japanese/French quartet Kaze of pianist Satoko Fujii, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, trumpeter Christian Pruvost and drummer Peter Orins are expanded for a second time with New York electronic artist Ikue Mori, embracing pandemic restrictions by creating this album through file exchange, adding complex layers of profound interaction to the virtual improvisations.
Fujii, Satoko / Otomo Yoshihide
Perpetual Motion
(Ayler Records)
Expanding their instruments into sonic sculpture, this first meeting between acclaimed Japanese improvisers Satoko Fujii, performing inside and out of the piano, and electric guitarist Otomo Yoshihide, demonstrates their incredible compatibly as heard in these live recordings at Tokyo's Pit Inn, part of an annual festival organized by Fujii & trumpeter Natsuki Tamura.
Tamura, Natsuki
Summer Tree
(Libra)
A stunning album of solo trumpet performance from Natsuki Tamura, who's name in Japanese translates as 'Natsu' meaning 'summer' and 'Ki' means 'tree', performed as layers of remarkable technique led by clarion playing over trumpet drones, sonic turbulence and percussive interaction on a wok, each layer using his extended vocabulary without studio manipulation.
Fujii, Satoko / Joe Fonda
Thread Of Light
(Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))
The enduring and innately lyrical collaboration of Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii and NY bassist Joe Fonda, first heard in 2016 with Duet, through 2019's Four with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, continues despite the constraints of a pandemic in these 10 improvisations recorded separately in Kobe and at Fonda's home, with Fonda also performing on cello & flute.
Futari (Satoko Fujii / Taiko Saito)
Underground
(Libra)
Pandemic restrictions having cancelled their European tour, the Futari duo of pianist Satoko Fujii and vibraphonist Taiko Saito chose instead to develop a new collaborative album of improvisations exchanged by sound file, each intently listening to the other's recordings, their care and pensive responses creating an astounding and sublime album of stunningly beautiful music.
This Is It! (Fujii / Itani / Tamura)
Mosaic
(Libra)
Circumventing pandemic lockdowns, the trio of husband & wife, pianist Satoko Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, recorded this album at their home in Kobe, Japan using an internet connection to perform in real time with drummer/percussionist Takashi Itani in Tokyo, their joyful and sophisticated improvisation a testament to close listening and magnificent communication.
Fujii, Satoko ma-do
Heat Wave
(Not Two)
Satako Fujii's 2008 release introducing her then new ma-do quartet of Satoko Fujii on piano, Natsuki Tamura on trumpet, Akira Horikoshi on drums, and late bassist Norikatsu Koreyasu, the band name signifying "window" and "the silence between notes", in an album of superb, lively, eclectic and absolutely exciting improvisation from 9 original Fujii compositions.
Fujii, Satoko Tokyo Trio
Moon on the Lake
(Libra)
Pianist Satoko Fujii introduces a new trio with two younger and very active musicians on the Japanese jazz scene--bassist Takashi Sugawa and drummer Ittetsu Takemura--recording in 2020 at Pit Inn in Tokyo for their 3rd live date together, performing five lyrical Fujii original compositions, including "Aspirations" from her album with Leo Smith & Ikue Mori.
Tamura, Natsuki / Satoko Fujii
Keshin
(Libra)
An album of duets between trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and pianist Satoko Fujii, the husband & wife core of Libra Records, recorded as a DIY effort during the 2020 pandemic in their own home recording space and mixed by themselves, a diverse album of intimate and impressive improvisations that find the two in uniquely deep and expressively concentrative conversations.
Mori, Ikue / Satoko Fujii / Natsuki Tamura
Prickly Pear Cactus
(Libra)
Extending their previous collaborations during the time of pandemic, NY electronic improviser Ikue Mori and Japanese improvisers Natsuki Tamura on trumpet and Satoko Fujii on piano developed this extraordinary ea-improv album via file exchange, starting with Fujii's piano improvisations to which Mori & Tamura added their layers, with Mori mixing the final, startling results.
Tamura, Natsuki / Satoko Fujii / Ramon Lopez
Mantle
(Not Two)
While on a tour of Japan in 2019, Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii and Spanish drummer Ramon Lopez asked trumpeter Natsuki Tamura to join them, and to join in a challenge to write a new piece of music for the trio each day while on tour; this studio album selects the finest of those compositions, performed with nearly telepathic control in a mix of fire and lyrical beauty.
Kaze (Fujii / Tamura / Pruvost / Orins) w/ Ikue Mori
Sand Storm
(Libra/ Circum-Disc)
The cooperative quartet Kaze of Satoko Fujii on piano, Peter Orins on drums, Christian Pruvost on trumpet, Natsuki Tamura on trumpet, joins with elextroacoustic improviser Ikue Mori for seven exploratory pieces recorded in the studio after a one-week tour in Austria, France, and Russia, their enthusiasm for their extraordinarily unique group sound clearly evident.
Futari (Satoko Fujii / Taiko Saito)
Beyond
(Libra)
Futari (meaning "two people") is the stunningly beautiful debut album of pianist Satoko Fujii and vibraphonist Taiko Saito, recorded in 2019 after a concert tour in Japan, the confluence of these similar instruments and the performer's technical mastery blending in introspective and active modes, adding rich sonic dimensions through preparations and extraordinary technique.
Gato Libre (Tamura / Fjuii / Kaneko)
Koneko
(Libra)
The 8th album from Gato Libre with compositions from trumpeter Natsuki Tamura in a trio with Yasuko Kaneko on trombone and pianist Satoko Fujii here on accordion, Koneko translating to "Kitten", as Tamura explores 8 new cats from strays to shop cats through deceptively simple pieces of melodic appeal of warm color, tone & texture; absolutely charming.
Fujii, Satoko / Natsuki Tamura
Pentas: Tribute to Eric and Chris Stern
(Not Two)
Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura (The NatSat Duo) launch their project Pentas with this album, their 7th as a duo, with compositions from each musician and dedicated as a tribute to Eric and Chris Stern, elder inspirational fans who spoke with the duo after the NY premiere of this music, upon learning that Eric passed away that very night.
Fujii, Satoko / Orchestra New York
Entity
(Libra)
Satoko Fujii leads her 13-piece big band through 5 thrilling and insightful compositions with a who's-who of NY improvisation: Nels Cline (guitar), Ches Smith (drums), Joe Fiedler & Curt Hasselbring (drums), Oscar Noriega, Ellery Eskelin, Briggan Krauss, Andy Laster & Tony Malaby (sax), Herb Robertson, Natsuki Tamura & Dave Ballou (trumpet) & bassist Stomu Takeishi; wow!
Toh-Kichi (Satoko Fujii / Tatsuya Yoshida)
Baikamo
(Libra)
The duo of Japanese improvisers, pianist Satoko Fujii and drummer Tatsuya Yoshida, continue their collaborations which includes many albums with the Satoko Fujii Quartet, their duo "Erans" record on Tzadik, and the original "Toh-Kichi" album on Victo, here in a new studio album of intricate, energetic and ebullient improvised dialogs, named for the aquatic flower "Baikamo".
Fujii, Satoko / Ramon Lopez
Confluence
(Libra)
Having played in trio settings before, pianist Satoko Fujii and Spanish drummer Ramon Lopez seized the opportunity to record as a duo in the studio in NY, bringing just two Fujii compositions to guide them, they began freely improvising, creating this stunning album of elegant interaction, peaceful yet detailed, intuitively beautiful and sophisticated music.
Amu (Fujii / Tamura / Itani / Wildenhahn)
Weave [CD & DVD]
(Libra)
Mizuki Wildenhahn adds an unusual percussive instrument through dance to the multi-arts Amu quartet of Wildenhahn, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, pianist Satoko Fujii, and percussionist Takashi Itani, heard on the CD and seen on the DVD of this 2-disc set of their unorthodox and absorbing live performance at Kanagawa Prefectural Lake Sagami-ko Exchange Center in 2018.
Mahobin (Fujii / Anker / Tamura / Mori)
Live at Big Apple in Kobe
(Libra)
Continuing the celebration of pianist Satoko Fujii's 60th birtday by releasing one CD each month, this quartet brings an excellent set of electroacoustic improvisation to the collection in a quartet with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, New York saxophonist Lotte Anker, and New York electronic artist and former DNA drummer Ikue Mori, performing live at Tokyo's Big Apple in 2018.
This Is It! (Satoko Fujii / Natsuki Tamura / Takashi Itani)
1538
(Libra)
Part of pianist Satoko Fujii's "Kanreki" (60th Birthday) tour and monthly album release, the "This Is It!" Trio with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and drummer/percussionist Takashi Itani is heard at Koendori Classics, in Tokyo, Japan, in January 2018, for an incredible album of Fujii's compositions that include quirky asides in coherent and effusive playing.
Kira Kira (Tamura / Spence / Fujii / Takemura)
Bright Force
(Libra)
Since 2007 Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii and Australian keyboardist Alister Spence have collaborated on performance and recording in several configurations, including work with Tony Buck, Raymond McDonald, Jim O'Rourke, &c.; this energetic and otherworldly quartet session with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and drummer Ittetsu Takemura was recored live Knuttel House, in Tokyo, 2017.



The Squid's Ear Magazine

The Squid's Ear Magazine

© 2002-, Squidco LLC