Exposé Online banner

Satoko Fujii — Bell the Cat!
(Tokuma TKCB-72369, 2002, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2003-08-01

Bell the Cat! Cover art

Pianist Satoko Fujii has done more than pay her dues in her native homeland of Japan. In thirteen previous solo releases the performer has refined her combined style of free jazz interpolation as well as pushed forward into more international territory within the US. Bell the Cat! finds the tumultuous assailant confronting melodic and soloing capabilities with equal doses of restraint and resolution. The opening piece is possibly the best representative of this approach with an adept rhythmic accompaniment. A path through the chaos doesn’t have to be resolved all at once; there are many moments of ambiguity and struggle that alludes to the best of free jazz. Mark Dresser is on upright bass having spent time on the free jazz circuit with John Zorn and Anthony Braxton. Drummer Jim Black also has an impressive resumé, ranging from work with Kenny Wheeler and Dewey Redman to Tim Berne. The trio has really come along with this third collective outing, as time does wonders for intricacy and intimacy. As an example, “Confluence” is a soliloquy that begins with rattling percussion before Dresser’s persistent bass pulse enters the fold. After Fujii enters with her creepy outburst, the piece increases in drama and tension making it one of the most satisfying and incendiary. In direct contrast the follow-on track, “Foot Step,” is a careful resolution shrouded in clever deception. Overall, this trio is a must-see live monster that needs be seen to be fully appreciated.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 27, 2002 releases

Related artist(s): Satoko Fujii

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...

Crazy World - Crazy World – What happens when you take the best of Finland’s rock stars of today and yesteryear, put them all together in one supergroup, and have them write and perform a bunch of songs in the style of the...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues