Thursday, July 3, 2008
Full Description:Satoko Fujii Min-Yoh Ensemble
Natsuki Tamura - trumpet
Curtis Hasselbring - trombone
Andrea Parkins - accordion
Satoko Fujii - piano, vocal
"... If any music has the ability to change one's life, this is it... "
- Budd Kopman, All About Jazz
Min-Yoh means folk music in Japanese. Almost all of it is made by regular people, not by professional composers. This music was arranged as it was played and sung by the people who played it. Because it is music for ordinary people, it usually has a very simple form, structure,
After I studied classical and jazz music, I began to be interested in Min-Yoh. I found in it a totally different power from the music I had previously studied and played. When I play, sing and listen
to this music, it goes directly to my heart. It is hard to explain, but I can even feel it in my DNA.
I dreamed making my own Min-Yoh, not just with its element, with its power remaining but with my own language. And I have formed this band With these great musicians who can carry Min-Yoh's deep power. I am very excited about our NY very first appearance. --Satoko Fujii
Critics and fans alike hail pianist and composer SATOKO FUJII as one of the most original voices in jazz today. She's "a virtuoso piano improviser, an original composer and a band-leader who gets the best collaborators to deliver," says John Fordham in The Guardian. In concert and on over 50 albums as a leader or co-leader, the Tokyo resident synthesizes jazz, contemporary classical, avant-rock and Japanese folk music into an innovative music instantly recognizable as hers alone. Since she burst onto the scene 12 years ago after earning her graduate diploma from the New England Conservatory of Music, Fujii has led some of the most consistently creative ensembles in modern improvised music. Her trio with bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Jim Black has released numerous CDs, all of which earned places in critics' year-end Top 10 lists. In 2001, she debuted an electrifying avant-rock quartet featuring Takeharu Hayakawa, Tatsuya Yoshida, and Natsuki
Tamura, and their high-energy CDs were hailed by listeners worldwide. Fujii has also established herself as one of the world's leading composers for large jazz ensembles. Since 1996, she has released a steady stream of acclaimed releases for large ensemble and in 2006 she simultaneously released four big band albums: one from her New York ensemble, and one each by three different Japanese bands. In addition to playing accordion in her husband trumpeter Natsuki
Tamura's Gato Libre quartet, she also performs in a duo with Tamura, as an unaccompanied soloist, and in ad hoc groupings with musicians working in different genres. Her special projects have included collaborations with ROVA saxophone quartet, violinist Carla Kihlstedt, a quartet with Dutch pianist Misha Mengelberg and trumpeters Angelo Verploegen and Natsuki Tamura, and a trio with vocalist Koh, and accordionist Ted Reichman. "Whether performing with her orchestra,
combo, or playing solo piano, Satoko Fujii points the listener towards the future of music itself rather than simply providing entertainment," writes Junichi Konuma in Asahi Graph. She tours regularly appearing at festivals and clubs in the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Europe. Her ultimate goal: "I would love to make music that no one has heard before."