Exposé Online banner

Satoko Fujii / Joe Fonda — Duet
(Long Song SRDC 140/2016, 2016, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-10-28

Duet Cover art

For the attentive reader of Exposé, pianist, composer and bandleader Satoko Fujii needs no introduction; her work in jazz, classical, and free improv has been documented and reviewed in dozens of releases, solo, in collaboration with her partner Natsuki Tamura, and in various ensembles small and large throughout the last thirty years. Virtuoso bassist Joe Fonda may be lesser known to our readers, though his work performing with a number of jazz groups (Barry Altschul’s 3dom Factor, Joe Fonda’s Bottoms Out, Conference Call, and dozens more) and as a sideman (Anthony Braxton, Carlo Morena, Wadada Leo Smith, and many more) is highly respected throughout the jazz world. While Fujii was in New York at the end of 2015, Fonda reached out and organized several duet concerts, the music at hand being taken from the second of those concerts on November 20 in Portland, Maine. The opener and centerpiece of Duet is the 37-minute improv piece titled “Paul Bley,” obviously a nod to the great, late Canadian jazz pianist, who was still alive at that time. Throughout, Fujii and Fonda are on fire, a magical rapport existing between them that flows effortlessly as the two proceed along their telepathic journey, each seeming to anticipate the next move of the other. For the second set, they are joined by trumpeter Natsuki Tamura for a shorter 11-minute improvisation “JSN,” which begins in more measured and relaxed territory, with Tamura’s trumpet and sound effects (with Fonda joining in on flute at one point) adding another new dimension to the proceedings, and quite a change from the earlier piece. All taken, these two sets captures an amazing evening of pure improvisational magic.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Satoko Fujii, Natsuki Tamura

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Providence - There Once Was a Night of "Choko-muro" the Paradise – Some may recall the first, very highly regarded Providence CD And I'll Recite an Old Myth... from around 1990. At that point they had already released a couple cassettes, two videos, and appeared on...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues