Sunday, July 29, 2012

Gato Libre Muku Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura Libra 2012

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!

5 Stars.

Tracks: Dune And Star; In Barcelona, In June; Muku; Galvanic; Patrol; In Paris, In February; Clone.

Personnel: Natuski Tamura: trumpet; Sakoto Fujii: piano.