Monday, November 5, 2012

Natsuki Tamura, Satoko Fujii, Muku

I had no idea when I posted here a week ago that Hurricane Sandy would make it impossible to do so again until now. After a brutal buffeting by winds we lost power until Saturday, so no internet until then. I am safe and thankful for it.

Today a suitably reflective album by trumpeter Natsuki Tamuka and his pianist partner Satoko Fujii entitled Muku (Libra 102-301). It is their fifth duo recording. Natsuki wrote the music for the set in a way that required the two of them to supply the creative improvisational spark to set things alight. That happens throughout.

The music was originally written for their quartet Gato Libre (see my review of their latest disk on these pages several weeks ago) but performed as a duo here for a more open sound. The music has elements that remind one of Japanese folk strains, some that have a new music feel to them, others that might be more easily comprehended as new jazz.

It's music of reflection and introspection much of the time. Natsuki and Satoko dig into the material and give us dramatic, compassionate yet structured performances.

Nicely done and a pleasure to hear.

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