Exposé Online banner

Gato Libre — DuDu
(Libra 104-035, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-07-28

DuDu Cover artThe more one listens to this, the more interesting it gets. Gato Libre is an unusual four-piece ensemble led by Japanese trumpeter Natsuki Tamura; they’ve been a going concern for about ten years or so and have half a dozen releases to their credit. Essentially an instrumental jazz and improv unit with some solid folk and chamber influences, what makes them radically different and unusual is their lack of any drummer or percussionist, resulting in a more gentle and free spirited style, often approaching the introspective. For their first five releases the quartet included bass, guitar, and accordion, the latter played by Satoko Fujii. Following their 2012 release Forever, and the passing of their bassist Norikatsu Koreyasu, there was some uncertainty whether the group would be able to continue, but following some live auditions it was decided that trombonist Yasuko Kaneko brought some fresh ingredients to the sound while also filling in the much needed low end of the sonic palette. Guitarist Kazuhiko Tsumura plays mostly slower melodic figures on an acoustic, adding to the overall gentle and tranquil feel. Tamura’s trumpet is the predominant soloing instrument, and it follows that he is the composer of all eight tracks. While Tamura and Fujii are known for their jazz work, and Tamura’s compositions are somewhat informed by that idiom, the music of the quartet on DuDu is not so confined, finding a more free approach with as much classical and folk elements in their mix, a unique experience that truly eschews comparisons.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Satoko Fujii, Natsuki Tamura, Gato Libre

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Odin - SWF Session 1973 & Live at the Maxim – Along with the reissue of this quartet's amazing self-titled debut album from '73 (which originally appeared on the Vertigo label), Long Hair has released these two collections of archival recordings,...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues