AMN Reviews: This Is It! – 1538 [Libra Records 203-049]; Satoko Fujii / Joe Fonda / Gianni Mimmo – Triad [Long Song Records LSRCD142/2018]

In October of this year Japanese pianist/composer Satoko Fujii will celebrate her 60th birthday; to mark the occasion she’s decided to release one CD per month for 2018. Two of these releases, each featuring Fujii in a trio setting, are a testament to the diversity of her musical interests and her willingness to take risks at the initiation of what in Japan is celebrated as a new, auspicious stage of life.

The first trio is This Is It!, an ensemble consisting of Fujii along with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and percussionist Takashi Itani. The three have played together for about five years, originally as a quartet with bassist Todd Nicholson and later alone as a trio. For the album 1538—named for the melting point of iron in degrees Celsius—the group improvises around six of Fujii’s compositions. The composed sections are more than just expedient launching points for improvisation—often of very high-energy; they’re compelling in themselves. Fujii frequently writes complex, convoluted melodies across multiple time signatures. It’s very demanding material to play, but play it Tamura and Itani do, and with a tight cohesion. The trio’s unusual instrumentation of trumpet, drums and piano gives the sound an aggressive edge that is perfectly adapted to Fujii’s jagged, stop-and-start lines.

The second trio consists of American double bassist Joe Fonda and Italian soprano saxophonist Gianni Mimmo. Unlike the standing trio with Tamura and Itani, this trio was put together for the occasion. Fujii and Fonda have a longstanding musical relationship, but Mimmo was a new factor. The set of improvisations was recorded in Milan on 9 October 2017, Fujii’s 59th birthday and the day after the three had played a concert—the latter being the first time they’d played together as a trio. One wouldn’t know it from listening to the music, which coheres as a tight fusion of compatible sensibilities. The three seem to share a sense of improvisation’s ability to trace a quasi-narrative cycle, which here takes the form of a long-term oscillation, consisting in waves of expressionistic intensity dissolving into introspective duets or solos. All five pieces, including the forty-minute-long Birthday Girl, show a remarkable attention to structure; the playing is in the moment, as is all good free improvisation, but every moment also seems to anticipate not only what the next moment will be, but what, given the current state of things, it should be. Fujii is an intuitive pianist who seems to approach improvisation with a composer’s sensitivity; she can fill audio space with cascades of sound or can allow ample breathing room with sparser, quasi-premeditated pitch collections. Mimmo—who was an inspired choice for making the Fujii-Fonda duo a trio–plays with characteristically refined lyricism leavened by timbral experimentation at the edges; his finely etched lines never lose definition, even at extremes of volumes and speed. Fonda’s forceful and often percussive voice provides a solid foundation; even in this free context he conserves the bass’s traditional function as anchor. Occasionally he switches to wood flute, which makes for a surprising, and surprisingly engaging, color contrast.

http://www.librarecords.com

http://www.longsongrecords.com

Daniel Barbiero

Advertisements

Bagatellen Reviews

From Bagatellen:

Jean-Luc Guionnet – Non-Organic Bias (Herbal International)

Malaysian sound artist Goh Lee Kwang began the new year in earnest, with several releases on his labels, Herbal and Why Not. Less enterprising than many labels in kind, and more a boutique project, Herbal International has managed to deal out one of the year’s most absorbing recordings, by French improviser and self-described […]

Harry Miller’s Isipingo – Full Steam Ahead

Cape Town-born bassist Harry Miller was already well-established in London jazz circles, playing with figures like Kenneth Terroade, John Surman and Mike Westbrook, by the time fellow South Africans the Blue Notes arrived on the UK scene in 1966. It wasn’t until about five years later that Miller joined former Blue Notes […]

Soft Machine – Drop

Mention the word “Canterbury” in certain circles and the likely reference is “Soft Machine.” Followers of the group’s transition from quirky psychedelia to a relentless and anthemic jazz-rock hybrid seem split on whether they like their Softs with Robert Wyatt’s otherworldly vocal whimsy or with only his drumming propelling organist Mike Ratledge, bassist […]

FAB Trio and Nu Band on Porter

Bassist-composer Joe Fonda has been a stalwart figure in the international creative improvisation community since the late ‘70s, though his fifteen years of regular appearances with reedman-composer Anthony Braxton probably stand out the most in his lengthy discography. However, it would be incomplete to call Fonda solely a Braxton acolyte – his work with pianist […]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Bagatellen Reviews

From Bagatellen:

Soft Machine – Drop
Mention the word “Canterbury” in certain circles and the likely reference is “Soft Machine.” Followers of the group’s transition from quirky psychedelia to a relentless and anthemic jazz-rock hybrid seem split on whether they like their Softs with Robert Wyatt’s otherworldly vocal whimsy or with only his drumming propelling organist Mike Ratledge, bassist […]

FAB Trio and Nu Band on Porter
Bassist-composer Joe Fonda has been a stalwart figure in the international creative improvisation community since the late ‘70s, though his fifteen years of regular appearances with reedman-composer Anthony Braxton probably stand out the most in his lengthy discography. However, it would be incomplete to call Fonda solely a Braxton acolyte – his work with pianist […]

Dominic Duval/Jimmy Halperin – Monk Dreams
“Monkish” is one of those descriptors that’s unavoidable in writing about jazz – Thelonious Monk’s imprint on the landscape of modern jazz and improvised music is huge and, more importantly, incredibly diverse. Odd-interval repetition, rhythmic bounce and dissonant delicacy have come to characterize a large segment of players, and soprano […]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

East 3rd Street Ensemble & Nu Band at RUCMA

From Rise Up Creative Music & Arts:

Start: 06/01/2009 – 7:30pm
End: 06/01/2009 – 11:00pm

first set @ 7:30

East 3rd Street Ensemble

Sabir Mateen, saxophones, clarinets, flutes
Matt Lavelle, trumpet and bass clarinet
Clif Jackson, bass
David Gould, drums

second set @ 9PM

Nu Band
Roy Campbell, trumpet, pocket trumpet, flugelhorn
Mark Whitecage, alto sax, clarinet
Joe Fonda, bass
Lou Grassi, drums

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Firehouse 12 To Present The Michael Musillami Trio +3 May 22nd

From Improvised Communications:

On Friday, May 22nd, New Haven’s Firehouse 12 will present a two set performance by guitarist/composer Michael Musillami’s newest all-star ensemble, the Michael Musillami Trio 3. The band augments Musillami’s seven year-old trio, featuring bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller, with trumpeter Ralph Alessi, saxophonist Marty Ehrlich and vibraphonist Matt Moran. This event is part of a Northeast tour celebrating the May 19th release of the group’s debut CD, From Seeds (Playscape Recordings).

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

The Michael Musillami Trio + 3’s From Seeds Coming May 19th

Marty Ehrlich
Image via Wikipedia

From Improvised Communications:

Playscape Recordings is proud to announce the May 19th street date of the first release on its 10th anniversary schedule, the Michael Musillami Trio 3’s From Seeds (PSR#020109).

The follow-up to 2007’s The Treatment (PSR#050607), his trio’s critically acclaimed collaboration with renowned violinist Mark Feldman, this release finds guitarist/composer Michael Musillami augmenting his seven year-old trio, featuring bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller, with trumpeter Ralph Alessi, multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich and vibraphonist Matt Moran.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Nu Band Touring Europe

Roy Campbell at Jazzy Spring Festival 2008 (Bu...
Image via Wikipedia

Though on on their web site yet, the Nu Band begins a European tour this week.

THE NU BAND EUROPEAN TOUR

Mark Whitecage – alto sax, clarinet
Roy Campbell, Jr. – trumpet, flugelhorn
Joe Fonda – bass
Lou Grassi – drums

Where:
Wednesday, January 7 – De Werf, Brugge, Belgium
Thursday, January 8 – Grand Theatre, Groningen, Netherlands
Friday, January 9 – Sunside , Paris, France
Saturday, January 10 – Le Moulin à Jazz , Vitrolles, France
Sunday, January 11 – open
Monday, January 12 – Aufsturz-Klub, Berlin, Germany
Tuesday, January 13 – IG JAZZ Freiberg , Freiberg, Germany
Wednesday, January 14 – open
Thursday, January 15 – Alchemia Club, Krakow, Poland
Friday, January 16 – Club Zak, Gdansk, Poland
Saturday, January 17 – Club W71 , Weikersheim, Germany
Sunday, January 18- L’Archiduc, Brussels, Belgium
Monday, January 19 – Oben Kino, Cottbus, Germany

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]