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Album Review

Tatsuya Yoshida, drummer of Japan's most infamous duo, the Ruins, engages the fiery pyrotechnics of free jazz pianist and composer Satoko Fujii on Erans. Far from a free-for-all freakout, this is a highly stylized series of 12 compositions that showcases the duo's near symbiotic relationship to tempo, dynamic, and chromatic engagement. In some senses, these pieces feel more like exercises, because they are played with such precision, which is both the album's strong point, and its weakness. There is a beautiful linguistic interplay here, one that is delicately shrouded in tone and explosive mechanisms, but these are overshadowed by sheer propulsion. From the manic shifts in tempo to the stylistically charged arpeggiattic studies, the listener gets lost in the fiery exchange of languages that exist between these shimmering, skittering dances of not one, but two percussionists, elementally creating and destroying intricately created tonal architectures over and over again for an hour. Certainly it is enthralling, but it is also exhausting to witness and pay close attention to at one stretch. There is an awful lot going on here, more than the ear can accommodate on one or two listens to be sure, let alone by taking the entire thing in one sitting.


Born: October 9, 1958 in Tokyo, Japan

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Japanese-born pianist Satoko Fujii was one of the more exciting new voices to emerge in avant-garde jazz during the '90s, capable of dissonant, post-Cecil Taylor free improvisation, lovely solo piano ruminations influenced by Japanese folk and classical music, and advanced big band charts given to fiery collective improvisation. Fujii began playing piano at age four, studying classical music for the next 16 years; however, when she discovered that her natural flair for improvisation had nearly been...
Full Bio
Erans, Satoko Fujii
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: World, Music
  • Released: Jan 20, 2004

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