Exposé Online banner

Satoko Fujii Quartet — Zephyros
(Natsat MTJC 3011, 2003, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2004-09-01

Zephyros Cover artMaybe it’s meant as a challenge to the listener, maybe not, but pianist Satoko Fujii has placed the most difficult track on her latest quartet offering first in sequence, as if saying, “You made it through that? Fine, now see what we’ve got.” The first rack starts with an extremely chaotic, pounding, dissonant episode featuring mostly piano and drums, then moves into a wandering solo for electric bass, then the piano and drums get back into the fray, more sparse but just as chaotic, finally, more than seven minutes in, the bass and drums settle into a rolling groove and the trumpet enters with the main theme. From there on out, while there is a lot of improvisation, things are easier. Other tracks feature creative settings for melodies, like a trumpet/bass unison line accompanied by wandering mysterious piano chords in the opening section of “As Usual” which then goes into a quick almost boppish head with the tonal instruments tightly together and the drums setting a breakneck pace. As great as all the players are, in some ways it is Takeharu Hayakawa’s bass that really sets this recording apart: hearing an electric bass in this context is uncommon to say the least, bringing the aggressive (sometimes fuzzed) sound of the bass guitar to the mix. Fujii’s piano is stellar as always, by turns fluid, rhythmic, and totally wigged out. Throughout, the musicians give a wonderful sense of playing together while doing their own thing within Fujii’s inventive compositions.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 30, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Tatsuya Yoshida, Satoko Fujii, Natsuki Tamura

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

IZZ - My River Flows – You have to hand it to IZZ, five years of hard work is increasingly paying off in terms of recognition. Their third proper studio release, My River Flows, continues their trend of melding progressive,...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues