Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Satoko Fujii Gen Himmel Libra 2013

Pianist Satoko Fujii takes the solo piano recording to the next dimension of sound!
Brent Black / bop-n-jazz

For a decade and a half pianist Satoko Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura have been the standard by which all free jazz in Japan is measured. Both Tamura and Fujii have released rare solo outings that are incredibly personal and continue to show the listener the myriad of influences that makes up their prolific talents.

Fujii and her release Gen Himmel approaches the finality of life but with an exuberant almost triumphant portrayal of the indomitable will of the human spirit. This somewhat conceptualized spin on the loss of friends and loved ones is an emotional journey set to music, as someone battling chronic illness I found this release particularly moving with a shifting harmonic sense of lyrical movement that seems to encapsulate the range of emotions that accompany the inevitable last curtain we all must answer while own our own journey through life. The overall mood with Gen Himmel is one of a quiet yet firmly grounded serenity, never melancholy nor morose.

As each composition begins to reveal itself there is that magical zen like quality of less is more. No notes are wasted and the precise ebb and flow within each composition is haunting yet strangely beautiful. The improvisational with from Fujii is at times dazzling with a full marriage of odd placed timbre and meter smoldering just below the surface of cinematic melodies.

A truly stellar effort shining a new and different perspective on avaunt garde improvisational music. A calm joy with an evocative ebb and flow that is simply captivating. 

Tracks: Gen Himmel; In The Dusk; Hesitation; Take Right; Ram; A.S.; Dawn Broun; Summer Solstice; I Know You Don't Know; IIttari Kitari; Saka; Der Traum.

Satoko Fujii - Solo Piano