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Satoko Fujii's latest Junk Box with Natsuki Tamura and John Hollenbeck is an amazing jazz album of extended technique, instrumentation and expressive, dramatic ideas
 

Junk Box (Tamura / Fujii / Hollenbeck)
Cloudy Then Sunny

Junk Box (Tamura / Fujii / Hollenbeck): Cloudy Then Sunny (Libra)
Label: Libra    
Released in: Japan    


"[...] the piece de rsistance of her recent releases is the new Junk Box, with Natsuki Tamura on trumpet and John Hollenbeck on percussion. The first Junk Box CD was already something special, but this one goes even further, even deeper into avant-garde territory, with lots of extended techniques used on the various instruments, but they create music, not just sounds, there is a story to tell, sometimes full of anguish, sometimes dark, full of drama, with truckloads of expressiveness. The brightly shining wheat field on the cover, with the red flames under a dark sky truly reflect the nature of the music. It is all about contrast, about freedom and control, about darkness and light, speed and slowness, rhythm and counter-rhythm, but then with the dynamics of fire and passion to move the whole thing forward, and it's in all this heavily accentuated lightfootedness that the true art of this band emerges.

[...]

This is not easy listening, but it is very rewarding. The trio manages to create something unusual with known and unknown ingredients, creating things on the spot with lots of complexity and evocative power. There aren't many who can manage this. Next to being the pice de resistance of her recent releases, it's also a tour de force. It's a rare artistic achievement. Brilliant."Freejazz-Stef@blogspot.com



"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)
2/22/2017

"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/)
2/22/2017





Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Trio Recordings
Satoko Fujii & Natsuki Tamura's Libra Label


Get additional information at Freejazz-Stef @ Blogspot



Search for other titles on the Libra label.


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Price: $15.95
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Product Information:

UPC: 4562169330191

Label: Libra
Catalog ID: 203-019
Squidco Product Code: 9914

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2008
Country: Japan
Packaging: Cardstock Foldover in a clear vinyl sleeve
Recorded on December 20, 2006 at Systems Two, NYC by Joe Marciano.

Personnel:

Natsuki Tamura-trumpet

Satoko Fujii-piano

John Hollenbeck-percussion

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Track Listing:

1. Computer Virus 2:14

2. Chilly Wind 6:47

3. Back And Forth 4:52

4. Night Came In Manhattan 2:24

5. Chinese Kitchen 4:11

6. Multiple Personalities 6:57

7. Opera By Rats 5:17

8. Alligators Running In The Sewers 5:39

9. Soldier's Depression 6:27

10. One Equation 6:57

11. Cloudy Then Sunny 4:21