Monday, December 18, 2023

Satoko Fujii Tokyo Trio, Jet Black


For many years pianist Satoko Fujii has been one of a handful of new avant improv jazz pianists who lead the field as the major influences, the major innovators on their instrument. That is saying something as the number of talented jazz pianists today is quite high in my estimation and to my appreciation. Ms, Fujii over the years has been extraordinarily productive, with hundreds of CDs released of several hundred performances in solo and many varied instrumentations of all kinds. Right now we have an especially compelling CD out of Fujii and her Tokyo Trio in a riveting set entitled Jet Black (Libra Records  203-073).

Ms. Fujii's Tokyo Trio has all the requisites for a landmark avant Jazz Improv Trio. Ms. Fujii's strong pianistic musicality and her vibrant compositions make every cut a highlight. There are six Fujii compositions here,  all standouts for memorable character and strength, along with open ended Jazz inventiveness and New Music Modernisms. Takashi Sugawa on bass and Ittetsu Takemura on drums both have high inventive skills and original musicality in all they play here. They are in many ways the ideal foil for Ms. Fujii's remarkable presence throughout.

Ms. Fujii's imaginative scoring for the trio makes for highly engaging fare, thanks to the superior musicality of the members and their response to her fertile musical ideas. This one is a solid winner and a thrill to hear multiple times. Highly recommended. Satoko Fujii scores big here. Hurrah!


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