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Natsuki Tamura & Christian Pruvost on trumpets, Satoko Fuji on piano and Peter Orins on drums for a quartet where all members are active compositional contributors, creating a powerful ensemble sound with strong soloing using modern creative techniques; excellent!


Kaze: Uminari (Circum-Libra)

Label: Circum-Libra    
Released in: Japan    

"Uminari is a Japanese word that refers to a sound rising from the sea, a low-frequency roar that portends a coming storm or tsunami. The poetic word serves an ideal title for the third CD from the unconventional international quartet Kaze. The two-horn quartet is equally adept at the calm and the storm, with expressive subtleties giving way to overwhelming torrents of sound.

Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura reunite with French trumpeter Christian Pruvost and drummerPeter Orins for the band's most evocative and inventive outing to date. The music for Uminari was developed over the course of a 12-day tour of Japan during which skeletal compositions by each of the quartet's members were elaborated and experimented on by the group as a whole.

"Every day we decided to play with different ideas," Fujii recalls. "Today we'll play the piece one way, the next day a completely different way. We wrote very simple music beforehand and developed it together."

Uminari opens at gale force with "Tioky Atsimo," the first piece to date contributed to the ensemble by Pruvost. The heady whorl of sound ultimately subsides to a stutter-stop rhythm by Fujii and Orins, accompanied by breathy rasps and brassy bleats by the trumpeters, who ultimately fall in line with the insistent beat. A second eruption ensues, as the piece becomes an exercise in forming order out of chaos.

Orins' "Vents Contraires" follows from the opposite extreme, starting from a place of shimmering stillness with the drummer's scraped cymbals and a low murmur from the horns. The piece builds gradually in intensity over half of its 14 minutes before dissolving into pointillistic shards. "Running Around," the first of two Fujii compositions on the album, begins with a circuitous melody articulated by the trumpeters, ceding to a fragmented groove from the rhythm section. At the midpoint it becomes a play of dynamics and silences among the four musicians.

Tamura's "Inspiration," at 20 minutes the album's longest piece, showcases the trumpeter's trademark humor with an textured array of percussion, extended techniques, prepared piano, and toy instruments. The set closes with Fujii's dark, impressionistic title track combining heartfelt, dirge-like melodicism with tempestuous improvisation.

Fujii and Tamura originally met Orins in 2002 when the pianist's quartet shared a bill with the drummer's collective Impression in his hometown of Lille, France. Nearly a decade later they crossed paths again and Orins suggested a collaboration with Pruvost, inaugurating Kaze's unusual instrumentation.

"We immediately became friends," Fujii says. "We felt like we shared the same kind of musical values. And we had so much fun doing this group we just kept playing together."


"After "Rafale" (2011) and "Tornado" (2013), we now have the pleasure of listening to Kaze's third album, again with the same line-up of Satoko Fujii on piano, Natsuki Tamura and Christian Pruvost on trumpet, and Peter Orins on drums.

The Japanse-French band was created after Fujii and Tamura saw Pruvost and Orins perform years ago, and the Japanese were charmed by their approach : "It was not like any music I had hear before" says Fujii, "It is wild but it is also very intellectual". Which seems to be an excellent match to the Japanese pianist's own vision of 'comprovisation'

Like with the other albums, nature is the inspiration for the music, now with the word "Uminari", which refers to the sound rising from the sea, a low-frequency roar that portends a coming storm or tsunami.

Like with the other albums, the pieces are loosely structured around composed material, overall ideas of texture, density, sound and more open periods for collective improvisation or solos, but that does not mean that you can expect themes or patterns to repeat themselves and for the soloists to improvise on these themes, no, it's almost exactly the opposite : the music evolves before your ears and shifts and changes constantly into new space and sonic territories, some filled with wild mayhem, some with quiet contemplation, some with unison lines emerging out of chaos. If anything, whatever happens is totally unpredictable and unexpected, but always fascinating and intense, even in the most minimal moments, as in the long intro of "Inspiration", yet always working with deep contrasts between power and subtlety, with waves of sound washing over the listener alternated with a steady breeze of unusual extended techniques.

As in the other albums, there is lots of 'plot development' in a story-telling fashion, with high levels of dramatic moments and catharsis, yet it never comes across as construed, and more as the result of the organic movement of the music itself.

A wonderful collective achievement."-Stef, FreeJazz Blog

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Quartet Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Satoko Fujii & Natsuki Tamura's Libra Label

Get additional information at Free Jazz Blog

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Price: $13.56
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Shipping Weight: 1.00 units

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Product Information:

UPC: 889211367061

Label: Circum-Libra
Catalog ID: Circum-Libra 203
Squidco Product Code: 20416

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2015
Country: Japan
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Studio Sequenza, in Montreuil, France, on December 9th, 2014 by thomas Vingtrinnier.


Natsuki Tamura-trumpet

Christian Pruvost-trumpet

Satoko Fujii-piano

Peter Orins-drums

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Track Listing:

1. Tioky Astimo 9:57

2. Vents Contraires 14:32

3. Running Around 11:32

4. Inspiration 20:39

5. Uminari 12:24