SATOKO FUJII/Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York – “Entity” (Libra Records, 2019)

cd jacket "Entity"

“Entity” is a new album recorded by Satoko Fujii and her “Orchestra New York”. An ensemble is famous for interesting, evocative and innovative improvisations where dozens of different forms, moods, characters, ways of playing and improvising are joined together. All music is based on synthesis of basics of avant-garde jazz, traditional Japan improvisational music, modern and contemporary jazz styles, American avant-garde jazz and the newest innovations of experimental jazz. All the members of ensemble are the masters of their art – it’s Oscar Noriega, Briggan Krauss (alto sax), Ellery Eskelin, Tony Malaby (tenor sax), Andy Laster (baritone sax), Natsuki Tamura, Herb Robertson, Dave Ballou (trumpet), Curtis Hasselbring, Joe Fiedler (trombone), Nels Cline (guitar), Stomu Takeishi (bass) and Ches Smith (drums).

The newest work of this ensemble – “Entity” – has bright and passionate sound. Whole album is made with passion, creativity and expression. Musicians are taking all the mesures to create an original and exceptional sound – their masterful virtuosity, extended playing techniques and innovative ways of playing are mixed together with especially expressive playing manner, inspiring style and unique sound. Open form, free improvisation and sonoristic experiments made everyhwhere – these elements also make an effort to original and bright sound. The compositions are based on impressive instrumental section – experimental and innovative ways of playing, same as extended and specific playing techniques, are the basics of it. Expressive, sparkling and independent melody line is created and kept by reeds and brasses. Hot thrills, sparkles, sudden attacks and bright contrasts are the main compounds of it. Saxophone’s section is vivid, energetic and bright. Five imiprovisers have their own point of view and the way they improvise, is individual and different from the others. Musicians don’t hesitate to use original, provocative, weird or strange ways of playing, drastic turns, sudden changes and immediate responses to each other’s playing. Oscar Noriega, Briggan Krauss, Ellery Eskelin, Tony Malaby and Andy Laster do great job – their improvisations are the mixes of wild blowing culminations, roaring riffs, striking thrills, full blasts of energy, glamorous flowing passages, all kinds of gorgeous tiny ornaments, special effects and strange timbres which are highly contrasting to deep, stable, vibrant and repetitive tunes. Of course, the centre of this section is based on the melodies – driving, surprising, expressive and exciting, filled with all ranges of colors, moods and tunes. Trumpet players Natsuki Tamura, Herb Robertson and Dave Ballou bring drive, energy and expression to the compositions. Their music gently fit together with trombonists Curtis Hasselbring’s and Joe Fiedler’s improvisations. These improvisers together succesfully create an incredible, strong and vibrant brass section. Traditional Japanese music and its harmony, authentic ornamentation and rhythmic are mixed together with the roots of 1960’s avant-garde jazz, spontaneous solos, instant improvising and impressive free improvisations. Blowing riffs, cracking deep trombones meet energetic, hysteric, wild, aggressive and bursting trumpets. Growls, wainings, buzzing and urgling solos, light flowing passages, silent subtle pieces heading directly to loud attacks, wild culminations, sparkling riffs and transcendental passages. All the music is illustrated by huge range of special effects, strange timbres and sonoristic experiments. Guitarist Nels Cline is mixing together heavy riffs, vibrant culminations, expressive melodies and spontaneous free improvisations. His music is passing through all kinds of moods – from ambient minimalistic pieces, repetitive series ir goes to dreamy peaceful samples, expressive vivid melodies, tremendous riffs, vibrant terrific culminations and virtuosic passages. Bass by Stomu Takeishi also is the synthesis between Asian and Western Europe music. The basics fo avant-garde jazz, experimental ideas, classical chords of Western Europe harmony are fused together with exotic and authentic harmony of Japanese music and its rhythms. Bass is the source fo evocative ideas, original coloristics, all kinds of timbres, special effects and inspiring improvisations. Fantastic drums section is created by Ches Smith. It’s a mix of aggressive hard bop, modern and extravagant post bop, hysteric complicated bebop or calm steady cool – all these elements are gently combined together and finally head directly to passionate improvisations, breaking sessions, wild culminations and spontaneous surprises. The music of this album has an exciting, bright and interesting sound.


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