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Trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and Satoko Fujii on accordion with guitarist Kazuhiko Tsumura and bassist Nirkatsu Koreyasu in their 2nd Gato Libre release, sophisticated, upbeat, melodic jazz.

Gato Libre

Gato Libre: Nomad (No Man's Land)
Label: No Man's Land    
Released in: Japan    

"The spouses Natsuki Tamura (trumpet) and Satoko Fujii (usually on piano, here only on accordion), have something with cats (not only for their Gato Libre band, but cats also figure on some other CD covers). Apart from that, they are musical adventurers, and their Gato Libre outfit could not be further removed from their usual more avant-garde endeavours. I invite everyone with open ears and a solid heart to listen to Tamura's Hada Hada, which brings the most improbable hard electronic industrial free jazz, a subgenre only represented by that album.

Nomad is at the entire other end of the spectrum, and is the sophomore effort of this band, bringing accessible jazz, founded in European tradition, ie. French musette, Viennese waltzes, Scottish dances, some klezmer, flamenco, and all this full of melancholy and warm-hearted sympathy. Every track has the name of another Europan city, and is created on the basis of the local musical tradition, then nicely packaged, with a ribbon around it, ready to be sent home to the fatherland. The other two Europeans at our service are Kazuhiko Tsumura on acoustic guitar and Norikatsu Koreyasu on bass. This is light, refreshing, sensitive chamber jazz, and the combination of the four chosen instruments, together with the musicians' mastery of them, makes this a really nice album, far above the average of similar projects."-FreeJazz Stef

"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
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
Quartet Recordings

Get additional information at Freejazz-Stef @ Blogspot

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Product Information:

UPC: 4017867006348

Label: No Man's Land
Catalog ID: NML0634
Squidco Product Code: 13274

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2006
Country: Japan
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded on March 11th, 2006 by Kimio Oikawa at Sound inn Studios, Tokyo.


Natsuki Tamura-trumpet

Kazuhiko Tsumura-guitar

Satoko Fujii-accordion

Norikatsu Koreyasu-bass

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Track Listing:

1. In Krakow, In November 9:47

2. In Glasgow, In May 4:57

3. In Paris, In February 7:48

4. In Barcelona, In June 5:20

5. In Madrid, In August 8:53

6. In Berlin, In September 9:13

7. In Budapest, In April 3:42

8. In Lausanne, In January 8:13

9. In Gent, In December 3:30

10. In Venice, In October 5:29