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Trumpeter Tamura and pianist Fujii return to the duo they've been recording for more than 15 years to explore a more quiet and lyrical side of their collaboration by reimagining compositions originally written for Tamura's Gato Libre quartet.

Tamura, Natsuki / Satoko Fujii

Tamura, Natsuki / Satoko Fujii: MUKU (Libra)
Label: Libra    
Released in: Japan    

"Gato Libre has gone through a metamorphosis so to speak. With the tragic passing of bassist Norikatsu Koreyasu, pianist Satoko Fujii and trumpet phenom Natsuki Tamura have just released their fifth duet recording. A long standing veteran of bands in both the United States and Japan, including some rather eclectic quartets led by his wife pianist Fujii, Tamura is a trumpet viruoso for having the chops to cover the essential trumpet discography from Clifford Brown to Miles Davis without as much as skipping the slightest beat. Tamura has an incredibly unique and personal sound if not approach to his instrument with the use of inventive sounds and tonal experimentation including flutters, squirts and split tones. This is incredibly beautiful music with a distinct line of elegance and certainly artistic risk. I don't believe you will catch Wynton Marsalis or Nicholas Payton trying this approach any time in the near future.

Unlike previously releases there is a far reaching sonic color palette from which Tamura paints. "Patrol" is a broad based more open ended approach to an emotional level few duets can match. Within this gentle touch there is an accessible abstraction that adds depth and harmonic balance, an even keel. There is an elegance of sophistication and clarity that permeates this release be it on tunes such as "In Paris, In February" or the purity of sonic thought on "In Barcelona, In June."

Tamura may well be the most under rated and over looked trumpet player on a global scale. Pianist Fujii is the yin to his yang and together they bridge a magically sonic gap creating very special music for a global audience. An absolute delight!"-Brent Black, Critical Jzz

"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
Japanese & Asian Improv/Rock
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Duo Recordings
Satoko Fujii & Natsuki Tamura's Libra Label

Get additional information at Critical Jazz

Search for other titles on the Libra label.

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Shipping Weight: 3.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 4562169330313

Label: Libra
Catalog ID: Libra 102-031
Squidco Product Code: 16619

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2012
Country: Japan
Packaging: Cardstock gatefold foldover
Recorded on October 6th, 2011 by Joe Marciano at Systems Two, New York.


Natsuki Tamura-trumpet

Satoko Fujii-piano

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Track Listing:

1. Dune And Star 9:42

2. In Barcelona, In June 5:15

3. Muku 6:37

4. Galvanic 3:36

5. Patrol 5:39

6. In Paris, In February 5:46

7. Clone 7:16