Exposé Online banner

Satoko Fujii — Gen Himmell
(Libra 201-033, 2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-08-23

Gen Himmell Cover artJapanese Pianist Satoko Fujii, now resident in Germany, is more typically cast as a player in duos, trios, quartets, and other configurations; an innovator and creative force the jazz / free jazz idioms, with countless recordings to her credit since first appearing on the horizon in the early 90s, she has appeared and recorded with the who's-who of the current avant / jazz scene in Japan, the U.S. and in Europe. But here, with her latest Gen Himmel, she is completely solo, for the first time since her Sketches release about ten years ago. She’s also outside the box of her regular jazz comfort zone; the works here tend to be more sparse, introspective, peaceful, and seemingly intensely personal, with plenty of space and ambience. While these twelve pieces are certainly informed by her jazz and improvisational background, as well as her classical roots, the compositions seem to be from a world of their own, sometimes joyful, playful, pensive, flowing free seemingly like improvisation, though each note in every passage seems carefully chosen to convey the feeling of the moment. The pace can be fast or slow, measured or hectic, there is plenty of compositional variety throughout to keep things interesting and animated from beginning to end. “Summer Solstice,” for example, is a stunning piece that could just go on forever, evolving constantly over its four-minute duration. There are occasional moments of avant-garde piano invention, like playing the strings of the piano from the inside, but they blend in well with the beautiful and sometimes angular and abstract melodies that are coming straight from the heart. This is a disc filled with magical moments, mysterious beauty, and an open vision.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 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...

Can Atilla - Omni – Here we have the new album by Can Atilla from Turkey. But before I go on with the music, I have to mention the again amazing cover made by Pablo Magne. Most albums which this great artist has done,...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues