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

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Steve Howe - The Haunted Melody – The Yes/Asia guitarist realizes a lifelong ambition by creating the perfect jazz setting with son, Dylan Howe on drums and Ross Stanley on Hammond B3. The arrangements across the stellar recording...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues