With commanding instrumental skills and a growing history of collaboration, bassist Joe Fonda and pianist Satoko Fujii are heard again in two live concerts as part of their 2017 European tour, two duos from Belgium and one in Germany, the CD taking its title from the Japanese word for "water" as the two converse in powerfully emotional and technically breathtaking ways.
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Label: Long Song Records
Catalog ID: LSRCD145/2018
Squidco Product Code: 25878
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Track 1 and 2 recorded at De Singer, Belgium, on October 14th, 2017, by Kris Roevens.
Track 3 recorded at MUG, in Munich, Germany, on October 13th, 2017, by Offene Ohren.
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• Show Bio for Satoko Fujii
"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)
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• Show Bio for Joe Fonda
"Joe Fonda is a composer, bassist, recording artist, interdisciplinary performer, producer and educator.
An accomplished international Jazz artist, Fonda has performed with his own ensembles throughout the United States ,Canada , Europe and Asia. He has collaborated and performed with such artists as Anthony Braxton ,Archie Shepp, Ken McIntyre, Lou Donaldson, Bill and Kenny Barron, Leo Smith, Perry Robinson, Dave Douglas, Curtis Fuller, , Bill Dixon, Han Bennink, Bobby Naughton, Xu Fengia, Randy Weston, Gebhard Ullmann, Carla Bley, Carlo Zingaro, Barry Altschul, Billy Bang.
Fonda was the bassist with the renowned Anthony Braxton sextet, octet, tentet, from 1984 through 1999. Fonda also sat on the Board of Directors from 1994 to 1999, and was the President from 1997 to 1999 of the newly formed Tri-Centric Foundation. He has also performed with the 38-piece Tri-Centric orchestra under the direction of Anthony Braxton, and was the bassist for the premiere performance of Anthony Braxton's opera, Shalla Fears for the Poor, performed at the John Jay Theater in New York, New York, October 1996.
As a composer, Fonda has been the recipient of numerous grants and commissions From Meet the Composer New York and the New England Foundation on the Arts . He has released twelve recordings under his own name. (Reviews and recordings available). Fonda was also a member of The Creative Musicians Improvisors Forum directed by Leo Smith, and was the bassist with the American Tap Dance Orchestra in New York City, directed by world renowned tap dancer, Brenda Bufalino.
In 1989, Fonda performed with Fred Ho's Jazz and Peking opera in its world premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. From 1982 to 1986 Fonda was the bassist and dancer with the Sonomama Dance Company. An independent producer since 1978, Fonda is the founding director of Kaleidoscope Arts an interdisciplinary performance ensemble and is the producer and musicial director for the Connecticut Composers and improvisors Festival from 2001 to 2011.
Currently Fonda has been recording and touring extensively with the Fonda-Stevens Group, Conference Call , The Fab Trio, The Nu Band and Bottoms Out , with performances at the Bim huis in Amsterdam, Holland, Prague Jazz Festival, Czech Republic, Jazz Halo Festival, Belgium, Jazz Festival Thurinsen, Weimer, Germany, Berlin Jazz Festival Berlin Germany , Jazz Im Agusto Festival Lisbon Portugal, Natt Jazz Festival Bergen Norway, The Vision Festival New York, New York, Jazz and More Festival Sibiu Romania, Bakau Jazz Festival ,Azerbijan, Tondela Jazz Festival Tondala portugal , Vancouver Jazz Festival ,Vancouver Canada, Guelph Jazz Festival ,Guelph Canada .
Two of Fonda's most recent projects are From the Source, The Off Road Quartet.
From the Source is a group that incorporates the tap dancing and poetry of Brenda Bufalino and the healing arts of Vicki Dodd, and four jazz musicians. The group has released their first CD entitled, Joe Fonda and From the Source, on Konnex Records.
The Off Road Quartet is comprised of four musicians from four different countries. Ux Fengia from Beijing China , Carlos Zingaro from Lisbon Portugal , Lucas Niggle from Zurich Switzerland and Joe Fonda New York USA. The Off Road Quartet blends the musics from all four of these musicians cultures into a unique musicial and visual experence."-Joe Fona Website (http://joefonda.com/biography)
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1. Rik Bevernage 28:22
2. Long Journey 7:21
3. Mizu 21:18
sample the album:
"On Mizu, pianist-composer Satoko Fujii and bassist Joe Fonda pick up where they left off two years ago when they released their first duo album, titled simply Duet, to rave reviews. Mizu, recorded live on a 2017 European tour, finds them delving deeper into their musical connection. There's a surprise around every corner as these two play with even greater emotional abandon, lyricism, and freedom. The album will be released July 27, 2018 via Long Song.
At the urging of a festival producer in Europe, Fonda contacted Fujii in 2015 to see if she'd like to get together to play. They eventually were able to coordinate their busy international performing schedules for a New England tour later in the year. They managed two other concerts before their next opportunity to play together for an extended period emerged, on a 2017 four-city European tour. The tour produced the music on this new duet CD, as well as Triad, a trio recording with Italian saxophonist Gianni Mimmo released earlier this year as part of Fujii's 60th birthday celebration.
Despite a lengthy gap between performances, the chemistry between Fujii and Fonda has grown. "I find that the more we play together, the more free we feel to take risks. We talk to each other in music," says Fujii.
Fonda agrees. "Now that we've had a chance to play together more, the vocabulary and the possibilities that we're using have expanded," he says. "We trust and respect each other, that's where the freedom comes from."
The freedom results in exhilarating music that is both inviting and challenging. On "Rik Bevernage," a dedication to the late Belgian concert producer and label owner, there's an elastic give and take between Fujii and Fonda as they exchange ideas and develop them. Sharp percussive motifs give way to flowing waves of music and then to sounds of unusual timbre. Fonda sounds especially inspired on this track, joyfully springing off in his own direction one minute, then curling around Fujii's piano inventions like a vine. "Long Journey" also finds bass and drums in perfect sync, playing in parallel without ever directly echoing or following the other. "Mizu" is focused and unhurried as it winds its way through one fascinating musical landscape after another. Throughout the album, the pianist and bassist are co-equal creators, with no sense of a leader and an accompanist, just two voices intertwined in a profound dialogue.
"I would not get the same inspiration from Joe if he played only like an accompanist," Fujii says. "For me instrumentation and traditional soloist-accompanist roles are not that important. Who I play with and the quality of their ideas and willingness to work together are far more important to me."
"I feel free to play whatever I want and so does she," Fonda says. He points to a moment on the title track to illustrate what he means. "There is a place where I start singing. I remember all of a sudden Satoko started playing something that sounded like opera to me. And I said to myself, wow, someone's gotta sing-and that's what I did. This is the kind of freedom we've arrived at."
-Long Song Records
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