Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Café Radio Show on Feb. 23, 2017, at 1:40 pm PST , CFRO, 100.5 FM,welcomed the amazing pianist and composer Satoko Fujii who phoned in from Japan featuring her unique new album promoting peace.
The World Poetry Team: Ariadne Sawyer producer and host, guest host, Ruth Kozak and super engineer Victor Schwartzman and special volunteer Sharon Rowe . Also, presented were Fauzia Rafique and Icis Benjamin with her e-poem.
New Album Peace!
With each new orchestra album, pianist-composer Satoko Fujii deepens and refines one of the most startling and singular concepts in large ensemble free jazz today. Peace (January 27, 2017, Libra Records), the fifth album with her 15-member Orchestra Tokyo, is no exception. A tribute to the late guitarist Kelly Churko, the recording features special guests drummer Peter Orins and trumpeter Christian Pruvost with whom Fujii and her husband Natsuki Tamura perform in the collective quartet KAZE. Together these friends and colleagues create one of the most personal of Fujii’s 18 (!) big band albums.
Peace, a tribute to the late guitarist Kelly Churko, who played on Fujii’s Zakoplane and also her First Meeting set, Cut the Rope (Libra Records, 2009), starts with noise music—something Churko loved. The tune “2014” (the year Churko died) opens the album with what sounds like ghost breezes blowing through a spooky house. Then the chattering begins—the guess here it Natsuki Tamura working his trumpet magic, unaccompanied, then in duo with one of the set’s two drummers five minutes into the thirty-three minute tune. Then the orchestra enters, in a loose, surging, melancholy segment that cuts off sharply, giving way a stuttering, squawking trombone interjected with low-in-the-mix vocal proclamations leading into a spirited trombone/tenor sax conversation. There is also a section that sounds like a stroll through a working construction site: jack hammers pounding, power saws singing.
Peace features a pair of guests from one of Fujii’s wilder ensembles, Kaze: drummer Peter Orins and trumpeter Christian Pruvost. Provost combines his powerhouse percussive propulsion with that of the regular Orchestra Tokyo drummer Akira Horikoshi’s. It results in some explosive moments. And Orins, combined with Tamura, leads the orchestra’s brass sound into levels of density and strangeness not often heard.
The Natsuki Tamura-penned “Jasper” is a different sound, washes of horns pulsing over a drone, building to a crescendo then tapering down to relative peace. And the tune “Peace” is anything but peaceful. It opens as a riot, then moves into a segment that sounds as though they put a microphone up against a jar full of hornets, after somebody shook the jar. And the closer, “Beguine Nummer Eins,” sounds almost mainstream, in a boldly pastoral way.
The pre-Peace spin-through of Fujii’s previous orchestral outing says that the composer took more than her usual risks in putting this sound together. It has an audacity and powerful joy of creation that rises, ever so slightly, above her best orchestral work.
Albums are available on Amazon.com
Sources : Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo: Peace – allaboutjazz.com and Braithwaite and Katz.