Centazzo Sakata Fujiwara: Bridges [Ictus 162]
These five tracks, recorded at the Japzitaly benefit concert in Milan in May 2012, are the result of a first time meeting of percussionist Andrea Centazzo, alto saxophonist/clarinetist Akira Sakata, and double bassist Kiyoto Fujiwara. The trio came about as a kind of happy accident, having been put together to fill an opening left by a cancellation. Though unplanned, the match turned out to be a good one.
The most striking feature of this fully improvised music is its implicit sense of structure and rich development of timbre. Fujiwara binds the ensemble together through his sensitive use of counterpoint (Bridge #2), subtle chordal underpinning (Bridge # 4), and discreet employment of extended techniques (Bridge #1). Centazzo’s array of pitched and unpitched percussion provides a vivid gamut of color, while Sakata’s expressive reedwork—and impassioned, wordless vocals on Bridge #4—stands at the emotional center.
(Full disclosure: I appear on Andrea Centazzo’s Moon in Winter CD.)