Kaze — Uminari
(Libra Circum-Libra 213, 2015, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-05-15Uminari 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.
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more