Exposé Online banner

Natsuki Tamura — Dragon Nat
(Libra 101-032, 2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-08-19

Dragon Nat Cover artThere’s only so much you can do with unaccompanied solo trumpet: melodies without any supporting musicians, sputtering sounds, squeaks, noisy blasts, and avant-garde sonic experimentation. Tamura has a large body of recorded work to his credit, most with his quartet, with various other ensembles (Gato Libre, Kaze, and others), and duos with his wife, pianist Satoko Fujii. On Dragon Nat he steps out of that comfort zone and goes it alone, offering eight pieces that cover a wide range of ideas. Some of the material here reworks melodies that were first introduced on the recordings with his folk-influenced acoustic quartet Gato Libre. When he’s playing melodically, it’s truly warm and wonderful, a magical experience to behold, with nods to the great Miles Davis and others. At times Tamura adds sparse amounts of hand percussion, occasional whistles and miscellaneous noise-making devices, plus some wordless voice parts to keep things interesting. The avant-garde and abrasive parts are more noticeable on the the early listens, but tend to move into the background more as the melodic parts become more familiar with repeated plays. Even though Tamura’s work is usually free-jazz oriented, Dragon Nat, due to its purely solo nature takes on a character that is relatively free of any musical idioms. This is certainly challenging at first, but patience and repeated listens bring the rewards.

Filed under: , 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Natsuki Tamura

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Fred Frith - Nowhere. Sideshow. Thin Air. – As one might guess from the title, this is a three-in-one – in this case three commissioned dance pieces by three different choreographers (one recent and two a bit older) that coexist together...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues