Exposé Online banner

Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York — Shiki
(Libra 215-036, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-09-21

Shiki Cover artThe work of composer and pianist Satoko Fujii comes in many forms, and this is a large ensemble that she maintains for recording projects in New York. The opening title, clocking in at some 36+ minutes is a free jazz magnum opus of ideas exploding outward in every direction, fully composed but with plenty of room for the players to improvise at numerous levels, resulting in an almost orchestral effect going well beyond the standard confines of the idiom. There are a lot of cooks in this kitchen, a group comprised of fifteen outstanding players, including Fujii herself on piano: four trumpets, three trombones, bass, drums and five saxes – two alto, two tenor and a baritone. This all comes together to make for a most potent stew of ever-morphing compositional ideas wrapped in a majestic blanket of alternating aggressive and gentle instrumental approaches, sometimes even narrowing down to one or two instruments working an idea through its inception before it expands out to include the full ensemble. The remaining two shorter pieces include “Gen Himmel,” and orchestral variant of the title track from Fujii’s previous album that concludes with a wailing crescendo of brass ad saxes fading gently into the distance, and the ten-minute “Bi Ga Do Da,” a powerful piece composed by trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, which includes some wild vocalizations as it builds in intensity toward something vaguely reminiscent of a collision between early Magma and Sun Ra. Even if free-jazz is not your thing, this release offers so much more than the standard stock parts, reaching into a well of powerful and unique ideas, keeping it thoroughly engaging over the long haul.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Satoko Fujii

Latest news

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Alquimia & Jose Luis Fernandez Ledesma - Dead Tongues – Alquimia is a vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist who has three previous albums to her credit in the pre-hispanic/new electronic music area, while Fernandez Ledesma is the de-facto leader of...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues