Exposé Online banner

Satoko Fujii / Ramón López — Confluence
(Libra 202-057, 2019, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-07-27

Confluence Cover art

Our readers should know the work of Satoko Fujii well, as we have covered most of her releases as solo, and in collabortion, as well as with the many bands and orchestras that she leads, as a composer, pianist, conductor and much more since the mid-90s. Ramón López, not so much, in fact I believe this is the first time we have covered him in these pages, so by way of introduction, he is a Spanish mostly-jazz drummer and percussionist from Alcante, born 1961, with nearly 30 recordings to his credit going back to the early 90s, including collaborations with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Joe Fonda, Ivo Perelman, and many others throughout the years. Fujii and López have known each other for several years, but had only played together once previously in a trio, Confluence is their first recorded collaboration, recorded as a duo in New York with no advance planning whatsoever; Fujii knew it would work and indeed it certainly did. López is a drummer who operates in a number of jazz styles as well as Indian style hand drums and percussion, and the opener “Asatsuyu” is a composed number by Fujii, showing both improvisers starting cautiously on their own familiar territory, but the piece begins to blossom after a couple minutes as López enters offering a strongly supportive presence. From the second cut, “Road Salt,” forward, all of the remaining pieces save one are purely composed-on-the-spot improvisations where both players seem to posess a telepathic ability to detect the others’ next move, making most of the eight cuts a truly satisfying listening experience. They do go a bit free and crazy at times, for example “Run!” but even in those moments it’s evident that López and Fujii are carefully crafting their moves together with an energetic rapport. The opening minutes of “Quiet Shadow” have Fujii subtly bowing the piano strings, the droning sounds offering Lopez a platform to wander freely until conventional piano sounds appear around the five minute mark. “Three Days Later” is Fujii’s other original composition, is a beautiful and graceful piece that allows plenty of space for López’ creative muse to blossom. There are many magical moments herein, and overall as purely improvised music goes, Confluence ranks among the best in recent memory.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Satoko Fujii

More info
http://satokofujii.bandcamp.com/album/confluence

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Eleanor Hovda - Coastal Traces – Hovda is an important, yet little known composer who has been active on the contemporary music scene for over twenty years, mostly through live performances, scores for dance companies (of which...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues