The Squid's Ear Magazine


Fujii, Satoko / Otomo Yoshihide: Perpetual Motion (Ayler Records)

Expanding their instruments into sonic sculpture, this first meeting between acclaimed Japanese improvisers Satoko Fujii, performing inside and out of the piano, and electric guitarist Otomo Yoshihide, demonstrates their incredible compatibly as heard in these live recordings at Tokyo's Pit Inn, part of an annual festival organized by Fujii & trumpeter Natsuki Tamura.
 

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Personnel:



Satoko Fujii-piano

Otomo Yoshihide-electric guitar


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UPC: 3473351400497

Label: Ayler Records
Catalog ID: AYLCD-175
Squidco Product Code: 32981

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: France
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Recorded at the Pit Inn, in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, on January 10th, 2022, by Takanori Terabe.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Perpetual Motion" is the perfectly chosen title for the music performed, 'cause the beginning doesn't seem as the start of the recording. It looks like the musicians were already been playing together for a while before the recording button was pressed. So is also the end! It has the same alienated and haunting atmosphere as the beginning and doesn't seem like an end. Has this music a beginning or an end anyway? In any case, a lot happens between those 2 'moments' that are about 47 minutes apart. To keep the system of the perpetual motion going, one cannot act independently from the other. When there is the slightest change in pace or intensity generated by one musician, the partner has no other choice than to follow/explore the chosen path. The partners have to be musically intertwined very closely."-John Sax, liner notes



"Though prolific musicians, each in their own right, this is their first work as a duo. They are noted as two of the most significant and commended artists in new, Japanese music: it is not surprising that they should decide to play together. Emerging in the 90s, their decades of practice have generated fully articulate styles and reveal confidence in their playing and their commanding musical personalities. Perpetual MotionÕs reach is extensive and the duoÕs approach ever obdurate. They and their music are brimming with surprises.

The title of the album suggests a theme for the duoÕs approach and itÕs true that this music doesnÕt stand still, nor in fact do the musicians. They listen, contemplate and respond to each other at warp speed and with the intensity one comes to expect of true improvisors, playing off each other with paralleled passion and profundity. Her piano and his guitar seem similarly attuned, as at times they sound as if they have swapped personalities, or that at least there really only has been one instrument present. Such a virtuoso parade of formidable authority and delicacy outlines the presence of both astonishing musical fecundity and technical aptitude.

The result is that the duo has demonstrated that the techniques often used in producing freely improvised music are not an end in their selves but are employed in the production of music which has a different well for its source, a different inclination and ultimately, a different kind of comprehension."-Ken Cheetham, Jazz Views



This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

Get additional information at Jazz Views

Artist Biographies

"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)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Otomo Yoshihide - born in 1959 in Yokohama, Japan. As a teenager, he spent time in Fukushima. Staying independent, he has consistently composed a wide range of music from improvisation to noise music and pop, and his music talent has spread all over the world. He has a successful career as a film score composer and has produced more than 70 movie soundtracks. In recent years, he has produced special type of concerts and musical works in collaboration with other various artists under the name of "ensembles". In addition, one of his priorities is,producing musical workshop projects involving handicapped children. In 2011, after the Great East Japan Earthquake , he started "PROJECT FUKUSHIMA!" along with people in various sectors. He has been active beyond the music scene and this is the reason that he has attracted a great deal of attention. In 2012, he received the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts in the category of Promotion for "PROJECT FUKUSHIMA!". In 2013, he received various prizes including the Japan Record Award for his accomplishments, such as composing the theme music for the TV drama "Amachan".

"I use my real name "Otomo Yoshihide" as my stage name. When you write your Japanese name in English alphabet, many people often write their given names first, then their family names, following in the Western traditional culture. But originally, some Asian countries, including Japan, write their family names first, and then their given names follow after that. In my opinion, there is not only one standard for people's names and we should respect the values each person attaches to their name. Calling someone by his first name is a wonderful custom in Western culture to express familiarity with each other but that custom is not necessary in Japan because nobody has ever called me by my first name. It does not mean that people are unlikely to become close friends with me. It is just that calling me "Otomo" seems easier. There are some places with such customs in the world; where people friendlily call you by your family name. I am definitely not a nationalist but I have a feeling that something is wrong with those people who do not only disregard the tradition I am familiar with, but would rather follow Western standards.

For this reason, I would like to continue using the notation "Otomo Yoshihide" as before. When you call me, please call me "Otomo" as before. This will not cause any problems in its use. Until now, many people have written my name "Yoshihide Ōtomo" or "Yoshihide Otomo" but please understand those notations are not my intention. I am sincerely grateful for your consideration."

-Otomo Yoshihide Website (http://otomoyoshihide.com/en/?page_id=4)
7/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Perpetual Motion I 11:28

2. Perpetual Motion II 15:40

3. Perpetual Motion III 05:59

4. Perpetual Motion IV 15:21

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Asian Improvisation & Jazz
Satoko Fujii & Natsuki Tamura's Libra Label
Guitarists, &c.
Piano & Keyboards
Duo Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Top Sellers for 2023 by Customer Sales

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