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Fujii Quartet, Satoko

Fujii Quartet, Satoko: Vulcan (Libra)
Label: Libra    
Released in: Japan    

"In October 2001, Satoko Fujii released two albums simultaneously: a fourth CD of her trio with Mark Dresser and Jim Black (titled Junction) and this much more surprising CD with a new quartet. Vulcan showcases the pianist and her husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, paired with bassist Takeharu Hayakawa, regular collaborator Kazutoki Umezu, and drummer Tatsuya Yoshida, the dynamo behind the avant-rock maelstrom that is the duo the Ruins. The promises this lineup holds beautifully come to fruition on Vulcan, a clash of avant-garde jazz and free rock. Yoshida is as powerful and inventive as ever, but fans of Satoko Fujii may feel worried when after pressing the play button "The Sun in a Moonlight Night" starts: The drummer's trademark vocal improvising is not the most reassuring greeting for the unsuspecting listener. But don't worry too much; after all, the project is led by the pianist, who composed most of the material (Tamura contributes two pieces). The aforementioned opening track is the best example of fusion on the CD. Afterwards, things drift more toward Fujii's usual grounds. "Ninepin" and "Junction" are also featured on this album's twin brother, but the former piece is much more satisfying here with an inspired bass introduction. The title track from the other CD turns into ferocious fusion and may very well be the most eloquent proof of Fujii's talent as an arranger. The rhythm section lets loose, almost breaking into an incarnation of the Ruins for a brief moment. Tamura sounds especially at ease in the more extreme passages. Vulcan is hotter than anything Satoko Fujii recorded before, closer to her recordings with her orchestra than her trio sessions. Strongly recommended for those who think they can handle it."-François Couture, All Music

"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 (

"Tatsuya Yoshida, born in Kitakami, Iwate is a Japanese musician; drummer and composer who is the only consistent member of the renowned progressive rock duo Ruins, as well as Koenji Hyakkei. He is also a member of the progressive rock trios Korekyojinn and Daimonji. Outside his own groups, Yoshida is renowned for his tenure as drummer in the indie progressive group YBO2, a band also featuring guitarist KK Null, whom he also joins in the current line up of Zeni Geva and he has played drums in a late edition of Samla Mammas Manna. He has been cited as "[the] indisputable master drummer of the Japanese underground". Along with his participation in bands, he has also released several solo recordings."

-Wikipedia (

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Japanese & Asian Improv/Rock
March 2007
Quartet Recordings
Satoko Fujii & Natsuki Tamura's Libra Label

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Price: $16.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 5.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

Label: Libra
Catalog ID: 204-005
Squidco Product Code: 7515

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2001
Country: Japan
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded at GOK studios, Tokyo by Yoshiaki Kondo on April 16, 2001.


Natsuki Tamura-trumpet, toys

Satoko Fujii-piano

Takeharu Hayakawa-bass

Tatsuya Yoshida-CAONOPUS drs, voice

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Track Listing:

1. The Sun in a Moonlight Night 14:39

2. Incident 6:06

3. Ninepin 10:44

4. Footstep 5:00

5. LH Fast 2:57

6. Neko No Yume 3:46

7. Explorer 5:54

8. Untitled 8:00

9. Junction 7:17