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Minerva by Satoko Fujii Quartet

Satoko Fujii is a fine percussive-yet-lyrical pianist out of the McCoy Tyner/Marilyn Crispell/Don Pullen mode, and she has a terrific acoustic "American" trio w/ Mark Dresser and Jim Black. This particular platter is from her "Japanese’ quartet, featuring her trumpeter husband, an electric bassist and the drummer from the thrash-rock/free jazz fusion outfit the Ruins, and is a decidedly different kettle o’ fish. Where the trio plays with a searing, volcanic but altogether focused wallop, Minerva is a bit more varied, more ebb-‘n’-flow, sparse, more shades of lyrical-then-spasmodic, free-jazz affair. There is the straight, pretty bebop mixed with free passages of "Weft" and there’s "Caught in a Web" with its spiky free sounds easing into a stripped-down Bitches Brew scenario which in turn gives way to some rippling, punchy Cecil Taylor-meets-Art Blakey barrages. N. Tamura’s trumpet has some of the stark, melancholy lyricism of Miles, the bristling rage of late 60s Freddie Hubbard and a dollop of the extended techniques of W. Leo Smith and Lester Bowie. T. Yoshida’s drums are crackling and Roy Haynes-sensitive, T. Hayakawa’s bass is deft, pointed, occasionally distorted wiry and rippling and Ms. Fujii’s piano is on-the-money as usual: punchy, pretty, driving and economical.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Satoko Fujii Quartet
  • CD Title: Minerva
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Libra Records
  • Tracks: Caught in a Web and Warp showcase the genius of composer/pianist Satoko Fujii.
  • Musicians: Satoko Fujii, piano. Natsuki Tamura, trumpet. Takeharu Hayakawa, bass. Tatsuya Yoshida, drums, voice. All compositions by Satoko Fujii except "Tatsu Take" composed by Natsuki Tamura.
  • Rating: Three Stars
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