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

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Beardfish - Sleeping in Traffic: Part One – Over the years there have been so many “next great things” in progressive rock that the phrase has lost meaning. The world is big enough, and prog varied enough, that there are always good things...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues