Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Satoko Fujii Ma-Do, Time Stands Still

The unexpected and untimely death of bassist Norikatsu Koreyasu has brought the celebrated quartet Satoko Fujii Ma-Do to an end. Their last album, Time Stands Still (Not Two 897-2) gives us a kind of summing up of the band in their final phase and all that made it justifiably one of the more acclaimed outfits on the avant jazz scene today.

It was Koreyasu plus Natsuki Tamura, trumpet, of course Satoko on piano, plus drummer Akira Horikoshi. To hear this final CD is to hear how far the group had progressed in combining compositional brilliance with very closed-knit ensemble freedom and parcelled soloing.

These are all Fujii compositions and the band runs through them like players who fully grasp the style (which is by no means simple) and know where to go with it. The bass and drum rhythm-artistry was closely intertwined and smartly executed.

Fortunately we have this last recording. It is some of the best avant improv out there today. RIP Norikatsu Koreyasu.

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