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A challenging live quartet made of two duos: trumpet & piano, with Satoko Fujii & Misha Mengelberg at the former and Angelo Verploegen & Natsuki Tamura at the latter.

Double Duo (Verploegen / Mengelberg / Tamura / Fujii)
Crossword Puzzle

Double Duo (Verploegen / Mengelberg / Tamura / Fujii): Crossword Puzzle (Libra)
Label: Libra    
Released in: Japan    

"Trumpeter Angelo Verploegen writes in the liner notes to his Double Duo's disc Crossword Puzzle that when Amsterdam's Bimhuis invited him to put together a new group, Fujii and Tamura were his immediate choice to mirror a duo of himself and pianist Misha Mengelberg. Mengelberg leads the much-heralded ICP Orchestra and his playfulness and love of Thelonious Monk makes for an intriguing balance against Fujii's Paul Bley-mentored touch. For better or worse, the set comes off as what it is: an off-the-cuff meeting, with a good bit of cautious feeling-each-other-out and a few moments of magic. The first track, "a butterfly, bee, mantis and grasshopper", clocks in at over half an hour and is aptly named; while being quite musical, it has the feel of four different insects buzzing around each other, not sure what to make of the jar they're trapped in. The shorter second track, "a prescription", might be taken to be the group finding itself. It opens with a speedy piano duo, then slows down to Mengelberg playing choppy chords and Fujii finding a melody within. The trumpets don't come in until the fourth of the track's 10 minutes, at which point the group seems to have found a bit more of a center. All in all it's a fun disc, but when the group is comprised of composers as engaging as Fujii, Mengelberg and Tamura, it's hard not to want more."-Kurt Gottschalk, All About Jazz

"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 (

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Quartet Recordings
Satoko Fujii & Natsuki Tamura's Libra Label

Get additional information at All About Jazz

Search for other titles on the Libra label.

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Price: $15.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 4562169330177

Label: Libra
Catalog ID: 104-017
Squidco Product Code: 9318

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2007
Country: Japan
Packaging: Cardstock Foldover in a clear vinyl sleeve

Angelo Verploegen-trumpet

Misha Mengelberg-piano

Natsuki Tamura-trumpet

Satoko Fujii-piano

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Track Listing:

1. A Butterfly, Bee, Mantis, And Grasshopper 33:38

2. A Prescription 9:53