Kaze — Uminari
(Libra Circum-Libra 213, 2015, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-05-15
Uminari is the Japanese word for a low frequency roar that comes up from the sea, perhaps signaling a coming storm or tsunami, and so it is for this international jazz quartet featuring pianist Satoko Fujii, trumpeters Natsuki Tamura and Christian Pruvost, and drummer Peter Orins, as this dual horn configuration presents a storm of ideas in and of itself, composition vs improvisation, while the piano and drums ride it out, pushing the quartet in new directions. The five pieces here (one composed by each member, save Fujii who is responsible for two) cover plenty of ground, and were composed and developed during the group’s latest 12-day tour of Japan. Two things are certain in each of these cuts, regardless of who composed the piece: it will get pretty crazy and chaotic at certain points, and it will also find quiet and calm at other times, with composed elements fitting in between the poles, often serving as a springboard for the next burst of improvisational energy. Orins, as a one-man rhythm section has a formidable job trying to tie the pieces together, but he handles the task well, and still gives the rest of the crew enough space for their sorties of pure invention, especially all the bizarre sounds that two trumpeters can create together. Fujii is like the painter, adding beautiful colors and splashes of texture to the proceedings. Most of the pieces here break the ten-minute mark, and Tamura’s “Inspiration” – a piece that develops slowly over its course, showcasing the trumpeter’s affinity for humor, toy instruments, and odd percussion, clocks in at over twenty. There’s plenty of open space here for all the players to develop ideas individually and together, all taken, a step forward from their previous release Tornado, but like that one, this also requires some attention and plenty of listens before it all makes sense, but the persistence pays off.
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