Junk Box (Tamura / Fujii / Hollenbeck)
Released in: Japan
"Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii's new improvisational trio, Junk Box, features the talents of her husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, and an extraordinary percussionist, John Hollenbeck. Fujii's diverse, open ended compositions veer from AACM-inspired textural explorations to violent, free rhythmic exchanges, making Fragment full of surprises.
Fujii coined the concept for this trio, "com-impro": composed improvisation. The pre-written sections of this partially arranged music are not traditionally notated-rather, words and graphic notation are used. Despite the cerebral forms at the foundation of the trio's excursions, it does not result in overly austere music. "Your Neighbors" features humorous quotes from Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Johnny Mandel, all blended into a morass of fitful abstraction, sprightly march rhythms and pedestrian rock and roll patterns.
Fujii's pseudo-classical pianism is a delight. Her forceful, modulated arpeggios on "Ants Are Crossing the Highway" provide an intricate rhythmic structure over which Tamura can blast his smeary, Lester Bowie-meets-Cootie Williams gurgles and gutbucket skronk to the heavens, while Hollenbeck furiously pummels the skins. [...]
Satoko Fujii, who typically traffics in dark, stark impressionism, varies her compositional style here, alternating agitated and vivacious pieces with probing, introspective fare. As a leader of various ensembles from solo to big band, Fujii is a wide-ranging talent. Stepping beyond her notable skills as an arranger, Fragment shines extra light on her singular skills as an improviser in this intimate and rewarding setting."-Troy Collins, All About Jazz
• 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 John Hollenbeck
"John Hollenbeck is a composer of music uncategorizable beyond the fact of being always identifiably his. A conceptualist able to translate the traditions of jazz and new music into a fresh, eclectic, forward-looking language of his own invention, intellectually rewarding yet ever accessibly vibrant. A drummer and percussionist possessed of a playful versatility and a virtuosic wit. Most of all, a musical thinker - whether putting pen to paper or conjuring spontaneous sound - allergic to repetition, forever seeking to surprise himself and his audiences. [...]
Hollenbeck received degrees in percussion and jazz composition from the Eastman School of Music before moving to New York City in the early 1990s. He was profoundly shaped by the mentorship of two hugely influential artists: trombonist/arranger/composer Bob Brookmeyer and composer/choreographer Meredith Monk. His relationship with Brookmeyer reached back to the age of 14, when he attended the SUNY Binghamton Summer Jazz Workshop, and continued at Eastman, through NEA-funded composition study, and finally on the bandstand with Brookmeyer's New Art Orchestra and in the studio with Brookmeyer and trumpet great Kenny Wheeler. For Monk, Hollenbeck composed and performed the percussion scores for five of her works: "Magic Frequencies," "Mercy," "The Impermanence Project," "Songs of Ascension" and "On Behalf of Nature."
Hollenbeck's awards and honors include four Grammy nominations; the 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, the 2010 ASCAP Jazz Vanguard Award and a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship; winning the Jazz Composers Alliance Composition Contest in 1995 and 2002; Meet the Composer's Grants in 1995 and 2001; and a Rising Star Arranger win in the 2012 and 2013 DownBeat Critics' Polls as well as in 2011 for the JHLE as Rising Star Big Band. John was a professor of Jazz Drums and Improvisation at the Jazz Institute Berlin from 2005-2016 and in 2015 joined the faculty of McGill University's Schulich School of Music."-John Hollenbeck Website (http://johnhollenbeck.com/about/biography/)
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Related Categories of Interest:
Satoko Fujii & Natsuki Tamura's Libra Label
Get additional information at All About Jazz
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Shipping Weight: 2.00 units
Quantity in Basket: None
Catalog ID: 203-013
Squidco Product Code: 9317
Packaging: Cardstock Foldover in a clear vinyl sleeve
Recorded by Jamie Saft, NYC on March 17, 2004
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1. A Dream In The Dawn 2:33
2. Ants Are Crossing The Highway 7:44
3. Getting Lost On Snowy Day 6:39
4. At Intersection, On The Window 5:10
5. Looking Out Of The Window 9:13
6. Your Neighbors 4:47
7. Wok Cooking 4:43
8. Tin Can Godzilla 3:19
9. Cats'nap 4:58
10. Lullaby 4:11