Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Satoko Fujii / Tatsuya Yoshida — Toh-Kichi
(Victo CD 083, 2002, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2003-12-01
When the freewheeling chaos and confusion suddenly takes form and finds order, one has to wonder whether this live set recorded at the Victoriaville festival between two of Japan’s premier avant musicians – one from the jazz side and one from rock, is borne of composition or improvisation. Fujii on piano, Yoshida on drums – it’s a skeletal lineup to be sure, but for the most part it works – although that said, it’s not always an easy listen. Yoshida’s drumming is adept and surefooted, capably operating across the range from an aggressive rock style to tastefully applied jazz rhythms, forever riffing with an adroit passion. Their collaboration swells and ebbs, moving from aggressive and noisy passages where both musicians are pushing the limits, to softer, more subtle moments where both ease back and find a clear space for pure melodic abstraction. Fujii, for her part, operates mostly in the jazz realm where it seems she is most comfortable, providing intermittent outbursts of tonal color and counterpoint to balance Yoshida’s rhythmic musings. Both musicians occasionally vocalize, adding yet another dimension to this ever-shifting maelstrom. Most listeners will probably find this too challenging and difficult a listen for everyday consumption, though anything is possible
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