Pianist Satoko Fujii's large ensemble blending masterful Japanese and Euro players like Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Natsuka Tamura with Matthias Schubert, Gebhard Ullmann, &c., with Fujii's compositions amazingly flexible frameworks that lend themselves to great soloing and ensemble playing.
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Catalog ID: Libra 212-037
Squidco Product Code: 20417
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at Studioborne 45, in Berlin, Germany, on January 26th, 2014 by Stefan Tiedje.
Satoko Fuijii-composer, conductor
Matthias Schubert-tenor sax
Gebhard Ullmann-tenor sax
Paulina Owczarek-baritone sax
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1. Ichiago Ichie 1 12:22
2. Ichiago Ichie 2 11:04
3. Ichiago Ichie 3 10:23
4. Ichiago Ichie 4 6:53
5. ABCD 14:14
Related Categories of Interest:
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
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Satoko Fujii & Natsuki Tamura's Libra Label
sample the album:
Pianist Satoko Fujii formed Fujii Orchestra Berlin in January 2105, performing in concert and recording with Matthias Schubert, Gebhard Ullmann, Paulina Owczarek, Natsuki Tamura, Richard Koch, Nikolaus Neuser, Matthias Müller, Kazuhisa Uchihashi, Jan Roder, Michael Griener, and Peter Orins. The result is this debut CD, Ichigo Ichie.
• Show Bio for Gebhard Ullmann
"Born on November 2, 1957 in Bad Godesberg, Germany saxophonist (tenor and soprano), bass clarinetist, bass flutist and composer Gebhard Ullmann studied medecine and music in Hamburg and moved to Berlin in 1983.Since then he has recorded more than 50 CDs as a leader or co-leader for prestigious labels such as Soul Note (Italy), Leo Records (UK), Between The Lines (Germany), CIMP (USA), NotTwo Records (Poland), Clean Feed (Portugal) Unit Records (Switzerland) and others.
For many years he is considered one of the leading personalities in both the Berlin and international music scenes and has received numerous awards for his work including the Julius Hemphill Composition Award in two categories ('99), the Deutsche Phonoakademie award ('83), one of the first SWF Jazz Awards ('87) and the nomination best-jazz-CD-of-the-year by the German Schallplattenkritik for his CD Tá Lam in 1995.
His CDs Final Answer (2002) The Bigband Project (2004) New Basement Research (2008) News? No News! (2010) Mingus! (2011) Clarinet Trio 4 (2012) were all listed in Downbeat Magazine among the best CDs of those years. The CD Transatlantic received the prestigious Choc of the French Jazz Magazine in 2012. Since 2005 Gebhard Ullmann is listed in the Downbeat Critics Poll, 2015 for the first time in three categories.
Since 1993 Ullmann was a recording artist for Soul Note and has been living in New York City and Berlin. He has toured with his music throughout Europe as well as Africa, the Middle East, Canada, New Zealand, the USA, South East Asia, Mexico and China and performed on most of the world's most prestigious jazz festivals."-Gebhard Ullmann Website (http://gebhard-ullmann.com/GU.html)
^ Hide Bio for Gebhard Ullmann
• Show Bio for Natsuki Tamura
"Japanese trumpeter and composer Natsuki Tamura is internationally recognized for a unique musical vocabulary that blends extended techniques with jazz lyricism. This unpredictable virtuoso's seemingly limitless creativity led François Couture in All Music Guide to declare that "... we can officially say there are two Natsuki Tamuras: The one playing angular jazz-rock or ferocious free improv... and the one writing simple melodies of stunning beauty... How the two of them live in the same body and breathe through the same trumpet might remain a mystery."
Born on July 26, 1951, in Otsu, Shiga, Japan, Tamura first picked up the trumpet while performing in his junior high brass band. He began his professional music career after he graduated from high school, playing in numerous bands including the World Sharps Orchestra, Consolation, Skyliners Orchestra, New Herd Orchestra, Music Magic Orchestra, and the Satoko Fujii Ensemble, as well as in his own ensemble. He was the trumpeter for numerous national television shows in Japan from 1973-1982, including The Best Ten, Music Fair, Kirameku Rhythm and many others.
In 1986, he came to the United States to study at Berklee College of Music. He then returned to his native Japan to perform and teach at the Yamaha Popular Music School and at private trumpet studios in Tokyo and Saitama, before coming back to the US to study at New England Conservatory. He made his debut recording as a leader in 1992 on Tobifudo.
In 1997 he released the duo album How Many? with pianist Satoko Fujii, who is also his wife. It marked the beginning of an artistic collaboration that continues up to the present. The duo has made a total of five CDs over the years, including 2012's Muku. "Muku contains some truly stunning, spine-tingling music...its sheer beauty and elegance is what lingers most," wrote Dave Wayne in All About Jazz. "Fujii's orchestral technique, clear chromatic lines and "prepared piano" devices contrast effectively with Tamura's arsenal of extended techniques which he executes with a warm, vocalized tone throughout the trumpet's full range," Ted Panken said in his four-star DownBeat review. Tamura's collaborations with Fujii reveal an intense musical empathy, and have garnered wide popular and critical acclaim. Jim Santella in All About Jazz described their synergy well in his glowing review of the couple's 2006 Not Two disc, In Krakow, In November: "... the creative couple forcefully demonstrates what can happen when you let your musical ideas run free... Similarly, Tamura's mournful trumpet can fly high or low in search of his next surprise. Oftentimes, they both issue plaintive moans that sing like angels on high." Their sixth duet album is due out in 2017.
In 1998, Tamura began recording his unaccompanied solo performances. The stunning solo trumpet debut release, A Song for Jyaki earned a Writers Choice 1998 in Coda magazine, and Andy Bartlett wrote in Coda, "A fabulous set of hiccuping leaps, drones and post-bop trumpet hi-jinx. Tamura goes from growling lows to fluid, free solo runs and echoes not only Don Cherry's slurring anti-virtuosic chops but also Kenny Wheeler's piercing highwire fullness." He followed it up in 2003 with KoKoKoKe, which Jon Davis described in Exposé as "Buddhist chants from an alien planet." Grego Applegate Edwards explains that on Tamura's most recent solo album, 2013's Dragon Nat, "he pares down to focus on simple unwinding melodic material, the sound of his trumpet as a sensuous thing, a periodicity. Taken as a whole it is a kind of environmental tone poem for the moment Natsuki is in now."
2003 was a breakout year for Tamura as a bandleader, with the release of Hada Hada, featuring his free jazz-avant rock quartet with Fujii on synthesizer. Peter Marsh of the BBC had this to say about the high voltage CD: "Imagine Don Cherry woke up one morning, found he'd joined an avant goth-rock band and was booked to score an Italian horror movie. It might be an unlikely scenario, but it goes some way to describing this magnificent sprawl of a record." The quartet's 2004 Quartet release Exit was deemed "...a brilliantly executed set with a neon glow," by Dan McClenaghan in All About Jazz.
In 2005, Tamura made a 180-degree turn in his music with the debut of his all acoustic Gato Libre quartet. Focusing on the intersection of European folk music and sound abstraction, the quartet featured Fujii on accordion, Kazuhiko Tsumura on guitar, and Norikatsu Koreyasu on bass. The quartet's poetic, quietly surreal performances have been praised for their "surprisingly soft and lyrical beauty that at times borders on flat-out impressionism," by Rick Anderson in CD Hotlist. Dan McClenaghan in All About Jazz described their fourth CD, Shiro, as "intimate, something true to the simple beauty of the folk tradition...Tamura's career has largely been about dissolving musical boundaries. With Gato Libre and Shiro, the trumpeter extends his reach even deeper into the prettiest, most accessible of his endeavors." After the unexpected passing of Norikatsu in 2012, Tamura added trombonist Yasuko Kaneko to the group. The new configuration has toured Europe and Japan and released its debut recording, DuDu, in 2014. "DuDu follows the winning formula of its predecessors but, as with the other discs, eschews the formulaic. The result is another sublimely satisfying, elegant record that brims with raw excitement and a reflective nostalgia," writes Hrayr Attarian in All About Jazz. With the tragic death of guitarist Kazuhiko Tsumura, Gato Libre is now a trio. They will release a CD and LP in 2017.
In 2010, Tamura debuted a new electric quartet, First Meeting, featuring Fujii, drummer Tatsuhisa Yamamoto and electric guitarist Kelly Churko. Their first release, Cut the Rope, is "is a noisy, free, impatient album, and ranks among Fujii and Tamura's most accomplished," according to Steve Greenlee in the Boston Globe.
While fronting groups and recording as a leader, Tamura has also played an integral role in nearly all of Satoko Fujii's many projects. He is featured on all of the CDs by Satoko Fujii's various orchestras (NY, Tokyo, Nagoya, Kobe, and Berlin) and has contributed original compositions and arrangements to each of their 19 critically celebrated albums. In addition, he was a featured soloist in the Satoko Fujii Quartet, her avant-rock free jazz group that also included Tatsuya Yoshida of The Ruins. Of his work on the quartet's 2003 release Minerva, Mark Keresman wrote in JazzReview.com, "Natsuki Tamura's trumpet has some of the stark, melancholy lyricism of Miles, the bristling rage of late 60s Freddie Hubbard and a dollop of the extended techniques of Wadada Leo Smith and Lester Bowie."
Tamura is a vital member of Fujii's Min-Yo Ensemble as well. "Tamura tempers his avant-garde antics with an innate lyricism," wrote Steve Smith of Time Out New York in his review of Fujin Raijin, the intimate acoustic quartet's debut CD. He's also been singled out for his contributions to Fujii's ma do ensemble. "With Tamura's brash and glowing lines, the band incorporates mesmeric ostinatos and thrusting opuses into the grand schema," Glenn Astarita wrote in Ejazznews about their first CD, Desert Ship.
Collaborative groups also play an important role in Tamura's career. Most recently, Tamura joined Fujii and two French musicians, trumpeter Christian Pruvost and drummer Peter Orins, to form Kaze, which made their recording debut in 2011. In 2015, they released their third album, Uminari, which Jazz Magazine (France) called, "a compelling example of free jazz today. Compositions are perfectly scripted, with a well-oiled interaction and playing of beautiful power..." The collaborative trio Junk Box, which he co-founded in 2006 along with pianist Fujii and drummer John Hollenbeck, plays Fujii's "composed improvisations," graphic scores that take "ensemble dynamics to great creative heights," says Kevin Le Gendre in Jazzwise. Their music "is full of bluster and agitation that nonetheless retains moments of great melodic beauty, usually by way of concise, pertly pretty motifs that trumpeter Tamura plays in between bursts of withering roars that often dissolve into austere overtones." Their premiere CD, Fragment, appeared in 2006. As Daniel Spicer wrote of Fragment in JazzWise, "Tamura spits out gloriously rude Lester-Bowie-like snorts, lows like a herd of robotic cattle or makes like a wheezy howler monkey... Cool and clever." Glenn Astarita of All About Jazz declared it "Required listening."
Along the way, there have been one-off cooperative groups and sideman appearances for Tamura as well. In the Tank, an ad hoc quartet with Fujii and electric guitarists Takayuki Kato and Elliott Sharp, is a "triumphant electro-acoustic adventure" according to Daniel Spicer of Jazzwise. "Think AMM meets blues guitar meets 1970s Miles Davis and you get some idea of the disc's flavor: a slow-moving panorama for the ears, where sounds are systematically added, repeated, refined, and replaced in turn," wrote Nate Dorward in Cadence. Tamura and Fujii were one of two piano/trumpet duos featured on the Double Duo Crossword Puzzle CD, a live recording with Dutch trumpeter Angelo Verploegen and pianist Misha Mengelberg. Tamura has also toured and recorded with saxophonist Larry Ochs' Sax and Drumming Core, and appeared on albums by drummer Jimmy Weinstein, saxophonist Raymond McDonald, and CDs by Japanese free-jazz pioneers trumpeter Itaru Oki and pianist Masahiko Sato. In 2014 he released Nax, a duet album with bassist Alexander Frangenheim. Tamua has toured throughout Japan, North America, and Europe, appearing at major jazz festivals, concert halls, and clubs."-Natsuki Tamura Website (http://www.natsukitamura.com/bio)
^ Hide Bio for Natsuki Tamura
• Show Bio for Nikolaus Neuser
"Nikolaus Neuser (* 1972 in Siegen ) is a German jazzmusician ( trumpet, wing horn ).
Neuser studied from 1994 to 1998 at the Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen with Uli Beckerhoff. In 1999, he moved to Berlin, where he performed with the Hannes Zerbe Jazz Orchestra ( Eisleriana and Erlkönig ), the Berlin Jazz Orchestra, Pinx, the Potsdama Lotsa formation (with Gerhard Gschlößl, Patrick Braun, Silke Eberhard ), the Satoko Fujii Orchestra Berlin ( Ichigo Ichie, 2015) and works with The Alliteration. He also heads the Nikolaus Neuser, to whom Bernd Oezsevim, Gerhard Gschlößl, Johannes Fink and Silke Eberhard belong. In 2015 he presented the album Pink Elephant (Jazzwerkstatt). Since 2012 he belongs to the Fun Horns (with Volker Schlott, Falk Breitkreuz, Jörg Huke ). Cooperations with the German Foreign Office, the Goethe Institute and the DAAD enabled him to stay and tour in China, Thailand, Vietnam, North Africa, Lebanon, the USA, Saudi Arabia, Europe and Colombia 2007 at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá. [8th]
In the area of pop music he is on albums of || Seeed, Peter Fox, Miss Platnum, 4hero, Pohlmann || Among others. He also worked with the Sonar Collective Orchestra and in the 2000s in the electronic jazz project Trondheym."-Wikipedia (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolaus_Neuser)
^ Hide Bio for Nikolaus Neuser
• Show Bio for Matthias Muller
"Matthias Müller was born 1971 in Zeven, Germany and starting playing trombone in the local trombone choir at the age of 10. From 1994 to 1999 he studied jazz-trombone at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, where he also made his first steps into improvised music. His CD "Bhavan", which was released in 2004, was produced by Chicago based musician and journalist John Corbett. In the same year he moved to Berlin and has since been regularly playing with internationally recognized improvisers such as John Edwards, Mark Sanders, George Lewis, Johannes Bauer, Jeb Bishop, Tobias Delius, Olaf Rupp, Paul Lovens, Toshimaru Nakamura, Clayton Thomas, Michael Vorfeld, Axel Dörner, and many more. He is a member of the 24-piece improvising ensemble, "Splitter Orchester", and was also a member of the "German-French Jazzensemble" under the direction of Albert Mangelsdorff. In addition, Müller is also active in the field of contemporary music, having worked with the Berlin-based ensembles "Xenon", "Work In Progress", and "Zinc & Copper Works". He also took part in the performance and CD-recording of composer Mark Andre's opera "...22, 13...". Müller has toured Africa, Asia, North America and many countries in Europe, having played on numerous festivals, and released more than 20 CDs of his own projects."-Matthias Muller Website (http://matthiasmueller.net/about)
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• Show Bio for Kazuhisa Uchihashi
"Kazuhisa Uchihashi (内橋和久, Uchihashi Kazuhisa) is a Japanese guitarist involved in free improvisation music. Born in 1959 in Osaka, Uchihashi began to play the guitar at age 12, playing in various rock bands, though he later studied jazz music. In 1988 he joined the band the First Edition, and in 1990 formed the band Altered States. He was also a member of Otomo Yoshihide's Ground Zero from 1994 to 1997. Uchihashi also plays daxophone, and in addition to his role as a free improviser, Uchihashi has been the musical director for Osaka theatre group Ishinha, has held improvisation workshops (a project known as New Music Action) in various cities in Japan, as well as London, Oslo, and currently in Vienna also. Uchihashi has set up his own record label, Innocent Records a.k.a. Zenbei Records, had held a music festival annually since 1996 Festival BEYOND INNOCENCE."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazuhisa_Uchihashi)
^ Hide Bio for Kazuhisa Uchihashi
• Show Bio for Satoko Fujii
"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)
^ Hide Bio for Satoko Fujii
• Show Bio for Jan Roder
"Jan Roder (* 1968 ) is a German jazz bassist.
Roder studied music in Hanover. He began his career as a rock musician and lived longer periods in Brazil. In 1995 he came to Berlin, where he played touring and concerts with musicians such as Ulrich Gumpert, Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky, Manfred Schoof, Uschi Brüning, Joachim Kühn, Aki Takase, Gunter Hampel, Mircea Tiberian and Axel Dörner.
As a successor to Joachim Dette, he is the band Disappointment, together with Axel Dörner, Rudi Mahall and Uli Jenneßen, who, together with Alexander von Schlippenbach, has the complete work of Thelonious Monk in his repertoire. Together with Björn Lücker and Henrik Walsdorff, he is the group The Most. He is also a member of the Caciula Trio (with Maurice de Martin and Ben Abarbanel-Wolff ), JR 3, the Silke Eberhard Quartet and the Zoran Terzic Trio, and performs as a duo of Maria Răducanu."-Wikipedia (translated by Google) (https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Roder&prev=search)
^ Hide Bio for Jan Roder
• Show Bio for Peter Orins
"After classical music study, Peter Orins learns the drums, first in a rock and afro-cuban music school, then at the Conservatoire National de Région of Lille in the jazz section, where he studies with Guy Gilbert, Jean-François Canape, Gérard Marais... He graduates in 1997. In the meantime, he studies musicology at university, improvisation with Fred Van Hove, composition with Jean-Marc Chouvel and Ricardo Mandolini.
Playing jazz from the middle of the 90's, he plays in the bands that will create in 2000 the Circum collective : Impression (for which he composes, became Flu(o) in 2012), Quartet Base, Stefan Orins Trio. He coordinates the Circum collective till its fusion with the CRIME in 2010, and creates the Circum Grand Orchestra, band with the 10 musicians of Circum, for which he composes also occasionally. At the same time Peter Orins get in the CRIME projects, improvised and experimental music collective also based at la malterie in Lille. He plays especially in La Pieuvre, big improvisation orchestra conducted by Olivier Benoit (nowadays Artistic Director of L'Orchestre National de Jazz). It's with the Crime that he'll develop his solo work (drums and electronic with Pure Data application), and improvised and experimental projects with David Bausseron, Laurent Rigaut, Ivann Cruz, Christian Pruvost, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Benjamin Duboc, Yanik Miossec, Falter Bramnk, ... in bands like DBPO, De Nouvelles Erreurs, Signal Box, Electropus, Ternoy/Cruz/Orins (that will become Toc, free-rock progressive band)... In 2006, he leads a french-vietnamese project called Hué/Circum with the support of Region Nord Pas de Calais, which combines 4 musicians from Circum and 3 traditional vietnamese musicians from Hué (tour in Vietnam, Japan and France, from 2006 to 2009). In 2010, he creates a french-japanese quartet with pianist Satoko Fujii and trumpet players Natsuki Tamura and Christian Pruvost, band for which he composes with Satoko Fujii. Several international tours with this band (Japan, Israel, Germany, France, USA, Canada). In 2011, Ivann Cruz, guitar player from Muzzix, and Maciej Garbowski, polish double-bass player, invite him to play in their quartet with the finnish saxophone player Kari Heinila. He also collaborates with theatre, composes for cinema or animation movies, dance... Since the creation of Muzzix in 2010, Peter Orins coordinates the artistic direction of the collective.
He played with : Sophie Agnel, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Benjamin Duboc, Radu Malfati, Steve Dalachinsky, Andrew D'Angelo, Petr Cancura, Josh Sinton, Curtis Hasselbring, Joe Morris, Rene Hart, David Miller, Frank London, Nate Wooley, Renee Baker, Ernest Dawkins, Dave Rempis, Jeb Bishop, Michael Zerang, Jacques Di Donato, François Corneloup, Norbert Lucarain, Sylvain Kassap, Alain Vankenhove, Camel Zekri, ..."-Peter Orins Website (http://www.peterorins.com/biography/)
^ Hide Bio for Peter Orins
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