Twitter_64YouTube_64Myspace_64Tumblr_64Google_64Linkedin_64Vimeo_64SlideSharea_64 Foursquare_64Flickr_64Mail_64


Down Town Music Gallary

SATOKO FUJII ORCHESTRA [NAGOYA VERSION] – Nagoyanian (Bakamo 01; Japan) This is the sixth fabulous disc for that ever-adventurous and ultra-busy pianist and composer Satoko Fujii and her marvelous 16 piece Japanese (West) orchestra. On ‘Nogoyanian’, Satoko is the conductor and co-composer with her husband and trumpet ace Natsuki Tamura, she plays no piano here. The five works are long, complex, diverse and fascinating. Instead of piano, we find the strong playing of electric guitarist Yasuhiro Usui, who is also the producer, as well as the superb electric bass of Shigeru Suzuki. Ms. Fujii consistently blends genres/styles, mixing jazz, rock and progressive influences into an intense new sound. I hear some of those dark Crimson-like waves in her writing on the dynamic title piece, which features one of those truly sick and well-placed noise guitar solos. Natsuki’s “Masai No Mai” features some spooky vocal sounds, twisted horn parts, bird-calls and delightfully weird writing. There are six sax players here, none of whom I am familiar with but there are a number of outstanding solos throughout, as well as some great work from the six brass players. From the insert photo, I get the feeling that most of these musicians are pretty young, yet the overall sound is that of a tight, mature and well-seasoned big band. “Fue Taiko” reminds me of that Zappa-like humor and bluesiness, that his early 70′s bands did so well. Some 25 releases later and Satoko Fujii continues to astonish us with her large palette of accomplishments. – BLG





Satoko Fujii Orchestra Nagoya Version | Bakamo Records

By Eyal Hareuveni


Pianist and composer Satoko Fujii leads three different bands under the title of the East Orchestra―one in Tokyo, the other in Kobe, and the wildest one in Nagoya, which is just now releasing its debut outing on guitarist and producer Yasuhiro Usui’s new label, Bakamo. This sixteen-piece orchestra features Fujii’s partner and close musical collaborator, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura; tenor saxist Kenichi Matsumoto; and baritone saxist Ryuichi Yoshida, who played with other versions of the East Orchestra ( Double Take, EWE 2000; Before The Dawn, Polystar 2003); plus thirteen other young musicians from Nagoya who were picked by Usui. This time Fujii is only the conductor. You cannot tame such an eccentric band from the piano stool.



The Orchestra kicks off with a new and charged arrangement of “Nagoyanian,” which was recorded by the West Orchestra on Blueprint (Polystar 2004). The orchestra plays as if possessed from the first note, following a jagged electric guitar solo by Usui and propulsion from the muscular rhythm section of drummer Hisamine Kondo and electric bass player Shigeru Suzuki. The horn section whirls around the galloping beat of Kondo and Shigreu. Tamura uses the orchestra as a kind of a twisted choir on his “Masai No Mai,” as he did before with the East Orchestra on “Oseka-Yansado” ( Double Take ) and “Wakerasuka” ( Before The Dawn ); and the West Orchestra on “Ocha!” ( Blueprint ), but this time to a better effect. The Nagoyanian players enjoy indulging themselves in cartoonish voices and ceremonial toy playing.



On “Fue Taiko” Fujii creates a beautiful gradual buildup of the horn section, and on “Exile,” which was recorded by the West Orchestra, she highlights the trumpets in the orchestra over a bleak and ethereal atmosphere. The closing track, Tamura’s “Tobifudo,” was recorded first on his first solo disc in 1992 and later by the West Orchestra. It gets a feverish arrangement advanced by the thunderous drumming of Kondo and collective maniacal shouting of the horns.



The US-based West Orchestra is more imbued in the great tradition of jazz and blues and may be more open rhythmically, but this stormy version of the East Orchestra brings forth Fujii as a unique composer who can turn compositions upside down and always find deep and exciting nuances in them. This disc was recorded in the Tokuzo live-house at Nagoya, where Usui managed to preserve the raw sound of the orchestra.


Down town music gallary

SATOKO FUJII ORCHESTRA NAGOYA – Maru (Bakamo 05; Japan) What makes this orchestra different from the other three released this week is that Satoko is the conductor and doesn’t play piano here. This ensemble, like the one in Kobe, has tow trombones and a tuba player and a fine electric guitarist added. And also like the Kobe Orchestra, Satoko and Natsuki split the writing chores with the exception of one piece by the guitarist, Yasuhiro Usui. This is the second disc by the Orchestra Nagoya and both are mighty fine. Yasuhiro’s “Slip-On” opens with some strong fanfare. Rather funky with some slamming drums and propulsive bass, great sax solos at the center of the storm of other horns. Electric bassist, Shigeru Suzuki, is often at the center of these pieces. He keeps the central groove down on “Pakonya”, as the other horns play their slightly twisted harmonies together. One of the trumpet players, Natsuki maybe, takes a long, inspired solo that is more restrained than what you might expect, which is followed by a swell bari sax solo (from Daion Kobayashi). Naksuki composed the title piece and it features a long and winding electric guitar solo. More restrained yet colorful ensemble passages abound, with a strong trombone solo at the center. “Bennie Waltz” can also be found on the recent Tokyo Orchestra disc and here gets another find rendition. It is an unusual sort of waltz, yet it also works so well. “Sakuradori Sen” is another Satoki original that starts one way and then changes into something else entirely. Each section is filled with unexpected twists and turns. Pretty wonderful throughout and another feather in the big cap that Satoko Fujii must wear to show off her 45+ releases and projects. – BLG


All About Jazz

The Volcanic Guitar of Yasuhiro Usui

By Eyal Hareuveni

Japanese guitarist Yasuhiro Usui is the man behind the Nagoya Version of the Satoko Fujii Orchestra, the wildest version of this Orchestra. Last year, Usui produced and released, on his own label, the Orchestra’s first release (Nagoyanian, Bakamo, 2004), and managed to charge it with tons of eccentric and manic energy. Usui is also a frequent collaborator of highly creative musicians including reed player Ned Rothenberg and vocalist Phil Minton. Now he has released two more discs through his new label, that document his meeting with guitarist Elliot Sharp and the collaborative Nagoya-based trio, Okidoki.


Usui Yasuhiro & Elliot Sharp

Volcanic Island



What a noisy heaven. Usui and Sharp could not find a better title for this documentation of their volcanic meeting that was recorded in New York in July 2003. Sharp, on the right channel, and Usui, on the left channel, create so many stormy noises and seismic eruptions on their electric guitars, grinding the strings, pushing them into feedback cacophony, sliding them with obscene objects, and provoking a lot of mysterious sound terrains; all done so intensely that you need

The six tracks are built in almost organic manner. The two guitarists feel in the dark for similar lines, and than delve head-on into them, daring to experience any avenue and welcome any mysterious sound. The outcome is somewhere between the spontaneous improvisations of Derek Bailey and the free-form metallic wall of sounds of Keiji Haino, with whom Sharp has performed in the past. Their open and swift communication is another reason to enjoy this clamorous summit. This disc is certainly not for the faint of heart, but is very satisfying for the fierce ones.


Don’t Walk On The Cat Side



Okidoki features the fragile saxes and clarinet of Yoko Tade, the solid tuba, recorder and pianica of Takero Sekizima and the unsettling guitar of Usui. Throughout the ten tracks, recorded in the Nagoya live-house Tokuzo — Usui’s home base — earlier this year, Tade and Sekizima outline a simple, sometimes even sweet and childish melody, while Usui pushes them to the edge, with his thorny, jagged playing.


The third track imitates a soundtrack to a pre-duel scene in a samurai film. The two reed players produce breathy sounds that are similar to the shakuhachi bamboo flute, already a clichֳ© in such scenes, and Usui references the traditional string instrument, shamisen, as if it were played by a wild slide guitarist. The Tade-penned “Nagi” features her playing a cyclical charming melody, with Sekizima suppling a solid base with his tuba while Usui sends the melody to mysterious terrains with his percussive playing. Usui manages here, as he did on Volcanic Island to create a truly collaborative atmosphere, so tight that if we pull out any of the trio members, the magic might disappear.

Usui is a rare original voice who delivers his highly personal musical vocabulary throughout these two interesting discs.

Visit Yasuhiro Usui and Elliot Sharp on the web.


Volcanic Island:


Tracks: Ve; Yusui; Moqsan; Zenso; Mui; Kazanto

Personnel: Yasuhiro Usui- electric guitar (left channel); Elliot Sharp- electric guitar (right channel)


Don’t Walk On The Cat Side:


Tracks: Nekomichi Part 1 (Tada); TKZ050107T1-1; TKZ050107T5-1; TKZ050107T3-1; TKZ050107T2; Nagi (Tada); TKZ050107T5-2; TKZ050107T1-2; TKZ050107T4; Nekomichi Part 2 (Tada)

Personnel: Yoko Tade: soprano sax; alto sax; clarinet, pianica; Takero Sekizima- tuba, recorder, pianica; tomomin; Yasuhiro Usui- guitar


Satoko Fujii Orchestra Nagoya: Sanrei (2008)

By EYAL HAREUVENI, Published: December 22, 2008



There is no doubt that out of the four big bands that Japanese composer and pianist Satoko Fujii leads, Orchestra Nagoya is the wildest one. It is also the fastest and the loudest one. It may feel like being hit by a huge adrenalin shot while listening to Sanrei, the orchestra’s third release; but rest assured this powerful demonstration does not lack detailed and precise arrangements.

The orchestra was masterminded by Fujii, who opts only for the conductor role with this wild beast, and Nagoya-based guitarist Yshuhiro Usui. This 16-member big band, which also features Fujii partner and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura as well as tenor saxophonist Kenichi Matsumoto from Fujii’s Tokyo Orchestra , was recorded live at the Tokuzo club in Nagoya in September 2007.

The orchestra blasts off with a tight and muscular rock beat on “Gokaku,” penned by Tamura and led by Usui, electric bassist Atsutomo Ishigaki and drummer Hisamine Kondo. After setting the uncompromising and slamming beat, the brass section joins and expands the sonic possibilities of the infectious theme; but it still sticks to the beat, even through a wild vocal passage.

Usui’s following “Eaves” sounds as if it is referencing seminal European big bands such as Alexander von Schlippenbach’s Globe Unity or Barry Guy’s orchestras, with its complex harmonic structures and brass section collective improvisation. But Orchestra Nagoya prefers a faster, rockier lane—as much as other great Japanese ensembles such as the Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra or Kazutoki Umezu KIKI bands do.

“Blueprint,” which was debuted by the New York version of Fujii’s orchestra on Blueprint (NatSat, 2004), highlights a comic vocal arrangement of all members, dadaist in its spirit, before returning to the athletic galloping mode.

“Kondo Star,” named after the drummer, begins with spare ceremonial percussion by Kondo. With his added gibberish vocals, the tune slowly morphs into tour-de-force drumming, while the other members of the orchestra attempt to ornament and comment on his sudden turns and inventions.

Usui’s “Shogetsu” features a distinctly funky bass module, which serves as a platform for improvisations by members of the brass section, with an impressive solo by tubaist Tatsuki Yoshino. Tamura’s “Sankaku” features a clever and surrealistic arrangement that confronts members of the brass section with the rhythm section, and includes an outstanding solo from baritone saxophonist Yoshiyuki Hirao. “Sanrei,” which is also featured on the New York Orchestra’s Summer Suite (Libra, 2008), slowly revolves around Ishigaki’s thumping bass of and Usui’s bluesy guitar lines, before gaining volition and volume with a cathartic coda.

Sanrei is impressive in its power, intensity, inventiveness and overall fun-loving spirit.

Track Listing: Gokaku; Eaves; Blueprint; Kondo Star; Shogetu; Sankaku; Sanrei.


Satoko Fujii Orchestra Nagoya


(Bakamo Records, BKM-007) (Japan) (CD)



  1. Gokaku (10:25)
  2. Eaves (8:27)
  3. Blueprint (8:56)
  4. Kondo Star (12:37)
  5. Shogetsu (8:04)
  6. Sankaku (8:33)
  7. Sanrei (10:41)


Compositions by Natsuki Tamura (1, 6), Yasuhiro Usui (2, 5), and Satoko Fujii (3, 4, 7)

Satoko Fujii Orchestra Nagoya
Satoko Fujii: conductor
Shingo Takeda: alto saxophone
Akihiko Yoshimaru: alto saxophone
Kenichi Matsumoto: tenor saxophone
Yoshihiro Hanawa: tenor saxophone
Yoshiyuki Hirao: baritone saxophone
Natsuki Tamura: trumpet
Tsutomu Watanabe: trumpet
Takahiro Tsujita: trumpet
Misaki Ishiwata: trumpet
Tomoyuki Mihara: trombone
Toshinori Terukina: trombone, euphonium
Tatsuki Yoshino: tuba
Yasuhiro Usui: guitar
Atsutomo Ishigaki: bass
Hisamine Kondo: drums

Produced by Yasuhiro Usui
Recorded live by Nobuki Matsui at Tokuzo, September 4, 2007
Mixed and mastered by Yasuhiro Usui
Design by Masako Tanaka
Photos by Densuke Ariki

Released in April 2008


Record Label: Bakamo Records
Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde



Satoko Fujii Orchestra Nagoya: Sanrei (2008)

By DAN MCCLENAGHAN, Published: December 2, 2008


Satoko Fujii has a rock and roll soul and heart, judging from the opening cut on Sanrei, by her Orchestra Nagoya. The tune thumps and slashes to life on a bass/drums/guitar intro that sounds like Deep Purple searching for the groove on “Kentucky Woman,” an early burst (1968) in the heavy metal mode.


The Japanese-born Fujii, a beyond category artist, is usually considered an avant-garde jazzer. But her sonic artistry is informed by just about any type of music and sound imaginable. She works in numerous ensemble configurations, small and large, and leads four separate big bands: New York, Tokyo, Kobe and Nagoya.


As with virtually all of her recordings, the music on Sanrei is an expect-the-unexpected affair, with rock riffs and brassy big band harmonies, aural riots of fist fighting horns and histrionic group scatting (nobody ever said that the members of a big band can’t set the instrument aside for an interlude and use the voice) that sounds like some sort of manic mass religious ecstasy, in addition to searing sax solos in front of seismic rock and roll type beats in “Blueprint.”


And then there’s a spare, lilting, Eastern-sounding intro to “Koda Star,” with unidentified band member chanting like a crazed monk before the tune segues into a churning instrumental, trombone heavy rant in front of flailing drums.


The title tunes opens with a trudging rhythm, Yasuhiro Usui’s twanging guitar weaving in and out of a dark sea of unison horns before it slashes into some metallic chords. The mood is ominous, on edge as a sax wails in.


Satoko Fujii—prolific always—has released eleven CDs in 2008. Her output this year is, in part, a celebration of her fiftieth year. Sanrei is an excellent, high-spirited, rambunctious addition to her huge discography.

Track Listing: Gokaku; Eaves; Blueprint; Kondo Star; Shogetu; Sankaku; Sanrei.

Personnel: Satoko Fujii: conductor; Shingo Takeda: alto sax; Akihiko Yoshimaru:alto sax; Kenichi Matsumoto: tenor sax; Yoshihiro Hanawa: tenor sax; Natsuki Tamura: trumpet; Tsutomo Watanabe: trumpet; Yoshiyuki Hirao: baritone sax; Takahiro Tsulita: trumpet; Misaki Ishiwata: trumpet; Tomoyuki Mihira: trombone; Toshinori Terukina; trombone, euphonium; Tatsuki Yoshino: tuba; Yosuhiro Usui: guitar; Atsutomo Ishigaki: bass; Hisamine Kondo: drums.

Record Label: Bakamo Records
Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde



Satoko Fujii Orchestra Nagoya: Sanrei (2008)

By MARK CORROTO, Published: December 5, 2008


Satoko Fujii’s Sanrei might smell like teen spirit, but it isn’t a rock power trio disc; it’s an orchestra sent here from nirvana by way of Nagoya, Japan.  Pianist Fujii eschews the keyboards for a conductor’s baton, leaving the chords to guitarist Yasuhiro Usui to shred with abandon.

Probably best known for her virtuosic piano, Fujii plays in trio with bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Jim Black, duo with husband and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, or in Tamura’s Gato Libre Quartet. She does have an established big band resume, organizing four separate jazz orchestras in New York, Tokyo, Kobe, and Nagoya. The Nagoya chapter is the most raucous, led mostly by electricity (guitars and playing) and with a tendency to rock out.  Think of this music as a combination of the big bands of Carla Bley and Otomo Yoshihide.

Recorded live in September, 2007 at Tokuzo in Nagoya, the disc opens not as a big band, but as the aforementioned trio: drums plus electric guitar and bass. The sound is stadium rock circa 1985; even when the massive horn section enters, the drummer plays his kick-drum with a bump-bump-bump that could make Eddie Van Halen tear up.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t camp by any means. The musicians are up to this challenge. Solos are sinewy and athletic, led by the trumpeter Tamura and stellar tenor saxophonist Yoshihiro Hanawa.

The Fujii composition “Blueprint” is a stop-start precision piece twisting in 360 degrees of direction and heat. Nearly 2:30 minutes into the track, the musicians set their instruments down for some vocal entropy.  Such fun and gymnastics, every big band should try. The title track has a dark noir feel, part Duke Ellington, part John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards, with more stellar soloing. This is a jazz orchestra that can rock, or maybe a rock orchestra that can swing.


Track Listing: Gokaku; Eaves; Blueprint; Kondo Star; Syogetsu; Sankaku; Sanrei.

Personnel: Satoko Fujii: conductor; Shingo Takeda: alto saxophone; Akhiko Yoshimaru: alto saxophone; Yoshihiro Hanawa: tenor saxophone; Yoshiyuki Hirao: baritone saxophone; Natsuki Tamura: trumpet; Tsutomu Watanabe: trumpet; Takahiro Tsuita: trumpet; Misaki Ishiwata: trumpet; Tomoyuki Mihara: trombone; Toshinori Terukina: trombone, euphonium; Tatsuki Yoshino: tuba; Yasuhiro Usui: guitar; Atsutomo Ishigaki: bass; Hisamine Kondo: drums.

Record Label: Bakamo Records
Style: Big Band









In a recent interview in Cadence magazine, pianist and composer Satoko Fujii briefly discusses her four ongoing big bands – New York, Tokyo, Nagoya, and Kobe. Unlike the other three big bands, Orchestra Nagoya is comprised of younger Japanese players whose musical backgrounds and listening habits include a healthy dose of rock music. The band, conducted by Fujii, features electric guitarist Yasuhiro Usui who also produced, mixed, and mastered the CD, and wrote two of its seven pieces. Unlike Orchestra New York and Orchestra Tokyo (I haven’t yet heard Orchestra Kobe), Fujii does not play the piano in Orchestra Nagoya. Her husband, trumpeter Natsuke Tamura is, however, a prominent soloist on “Sanrei,” which also boasts two of his quirky, imaginative compositions, ‘Gokaku’ and ‘Sankaku.’ As one might expect, the music here is brash, boldly experimental, even startling.

Sanrei is unique amongst contemporary big band recordings in that its edgy, manic, streetwise energy is more about punk rock or alternative rock than it is a reflection of pioneering 60s and 70s avant-jazz big bands such as Globe Unity or the London Jazz Composers’ Orchestra. The piano-less rhythm section is adept at playing bruising, punkish rock and intricate funky fusion. But this band can also swing hard, albeit not in a traditional fashion. At times, the brass and reed section work has a joyfully sloppy, off-kilter Sun Ra sort of sound to it. After a careful listen or two, it’s quite apparent that this lack of precision is completely intentional (as it was in Sun Ra’s various bands). Even more iconoclastic is the band’s penchant for distorted guitar and bass sounds, collective brass and reed soloing, and spontaneous eruptions of vocal sounds – yodeling, scatting, howling, groaning, screaming, and even some pseudo-operatic singing. The latter crop up quite unexpectedly during the CD’s first track, Natsuki Tamura’s tribal rocker ‘Gokaku,’ which also features an excellent solo by electric bassist Atsutomo Ishigaki over Usui’s in-your-face rock guitar riffing. Tamura’s other contribution, ‘Sankura,’ works with many similar elements – a relatively simple rock rhythm, blaring brass fanfares with surprising dissonances in the top and bottom ranges – before breaking off into a manic 5/4 rhythm for excellent solos by one of the band’s two trombonists and baritone saxophonist Yoshiyuki Hirao. Usui’s composition, ‘Shogetu,’ is similar, with alternating slabs of screaming brass and funky off-kilter rhythms that support more extremely impassioned solo work. A manic collective improvisation over a blazing bebop rhythm forms the hub of ‘Eaves,’ also written by Usui.


Fujii’s episodic, multi-sectioned compositions are full of surprises, as well. The urgently wacky ‘Blueprint’ is replete with Fujii’s trademark devices – odd stops and starts, King Crimson-like odd-metered ostinatos, contrasting cells of calm and chaos, and powerful melodies. One of the orchestra’s two alto saxophonists contributes an impressively manic solo towards the end of the piece. ‘Kondo Star’ is a long feature for its namesake, drummer Hisamine Kondo, who also plays kalimba and an array of hand percussion in addition to working out in an impressive fashion on the drum kit. The CD’s engaging and visceral title track starts off with jazzy and extremely precise horn section work over a loping rock rhythm and Usui’s metallic guitar shards. A lone trumpet soloist – probably Tamura – blows an angular, questing solo as the rhythm section slowly gains steam. The overall effect is not unlike something off of Miles Davis’ great mid-70s recordings. The horns return, and initiate a new section – this time an repetitive, odd-metered figure, over which an alto saxophonist blows a fevered, fractured solo. The rest of the band drops out, while the alto soloist forges ahead quite starkly alone (again – similar to Sonny Fortune’s work on Agartha. He continues to spit flame as the rest of the band re-enters with the original loping rock riff.


Sanrei is a bracing, high-intensity musical journey through the imaginations of some of Japan’s most exciting and interesting musicians and composers. While it represents a definitive break from the typical ‘avant garde big band’ sound, it is probably too dark, intense, and rock-based for fans of traditional big band jazz. However, I totally enjoyed “Sanrei” from beginning to end. Fujii and her colleagues prove once again that the creative possibilities in a jazz ensemble of any given size are limitless.


Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name:
    Satoko Fujii and Orchestra Nagoya
  • CD Title:
  • Genre:
    Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released:
  • Record Label:
    Bakamo Records
  • Tracks:
    Gokaku, Eaves, Blueprint, Kondo Star, Shogetu, Sankaku, Sanrei
  • Musicians:
    Satoko Fujii (conductor), Shinkgo Takeda (alto sax), Akihiko Yoshimaru (alto sax), Kenichi Matsumoto (tenor sax), Yoshihio Hanawa (tenor sax), Yoshiyuki Hirao (baritone sax), Natsuki Tamura (trumpet), Tsomutu Watanabe (trumpet), Takahiro Tsujita (trumpet), Misaki Ishiwata (trumpet), Tomoyuki Mihara (trombone), Toshinori Terukina (trombone, euphonium), Tatsuki Yoshino (tuba), Yasuhiro Usui (guitar), Atsutomo Ishigaki (bass), Hisamine Kondo (drums)
  • Label Website:

Forum La Riche en bio

Dec Twenty two, The year 2008 No doubt that out from the some huge bands which Japan musician as well as piano player Satoko Fujii potential customers cheap jordans shoes, Orchestra Nagoya may be the craziest a single. It is usually the easiest plus the loudest one particular. It could possibly feel as if becoming strike by way of a big adrenalin opportunity though paying attention to Sanrei, the particular orchestra’s next discharge; but relax knowing this kind of highly effective exhibition will not deficiency in depth and correct preparations. The orchestra ended up being masterminded by means of Fujii, whom chooses simply for your conductor role with this crazy monster, in addition to Nagoya-based guitarist Yshuhiro Usui. That 16-member large music group, which features Fujii companion and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura as well as tenor saxophonist Kenichi Matsumoto via Fujii’s Tokyo Band , has been registered are living for the Tokuzo membership inside Nagoya inside June The year 2007. The orchestra blasts with a decent as well as muscle rock and roll overcom about “Gokaku,Inches penned simply by Tamura along with directed by means of Usui, electric powered bassist Atsutomo Ishigaki and drummer Hisamine Kondo. Following location this uncompromising and also slamming defeat cheap jordans shoes, your brass area connects to in addition to swells your sound odds of the infected topic; nonetheless it even now branches for the overcom, even through a outrageous expressive penetration. Usui’s subsequent “Eaves” looks as though it truly is referencing seminal Eu big bands for example Alexander von Schlippenbach’s Entire world Unity as well as Simon Male orchestras, having its difficult harmonic buildings as well as brass segment joint improvisation. However Band Nagoya likes a faster, rockier lane—up to additional good Japoneses sets for example the Shibusa Shirazu Band or maybe Kazutoki Umezu KIKI companies complete. “Blueprint,Inches which has been debuted through the The big apple form of Fujii’s band about Plan (NatSat, 2004), features a comic book expressive set up of most users, dadaist in its heart, just before here we are at this particular sports galloping function. “Kondo Movie star,In . branded following the percussionist, gets underway with extra ceremonial drums by Kondo. In reference to his extra babble lines, the actual beat slowly morphs in to tour-de-force drumming, whilst the individuals on the band make an effort to decoration in addition to touch upon his or her sudden spins as well as innovations. Usui’s “Shogetsu” includes a definitely trendy bass component, which in turn functions as a system pertaining to improvisations by simply folks the actual steel section, with the impressive alone through tubaist Tatsuki Yoshino. Tamura’s “Sankaku” includes a intelligent as well as surrealistic layout that confronts members of the particular steel portion together with the rhythm segment, and also contains an exceptional by yourself via baritone saxophonist Yoshiyuki Hirao. “Sanrei,In and this is featured on the The big apple Orchestra’s Summer Suite (Libra, 08), slowly revolves around Ishigaki’s thumping striped bass involving as well as Usui’s bluesy electric guitar wrinkles, ahead of getting choice and quantity that has a cathartic coda. Sanrei is actually impressive rolling around in its electrical power, high intensity, ingenuity and also over-all fun-loving spirit.Keep track of Listing: Gokaku; Eaves; Strategy; Kondo Star; Shogetu; Sankaku; Sanrei.Personnel: Satoko Fujii: conductor; Shingo Takeda: alto sax; Akihiko Yoshimaru:alto sax; Kenichi Matsumoto: tenor sax; Yoshihiro Hanawa: tenor sax; Natsuki Tamura: trumpet; Tsutomo Watanabe: trumpet; Yoshiyuki Hirao: baritone sax; Takahiro Tsulita: trumpet; Misaki Ishiwata: trumpet; Tomoyuki Mihira: trombone; Toshinori Terukina; trombone, euphonium; Tatsuki Yoshino: tuba; Yosuhiro Usui: electric guitar; Atsutomo Ishigaki: largemouth bass; Hisamine Kondo: drums.Record Label: Bakamo Documents Model: Cost-free Improv/Avant-Garde



DownTown Music Gallery – Bruce Lee Gallanter


This is the third disc from Satoko Fujii’s Orchestra Nagoya and it is pretty much different from any of her other ensembles. Unlike her other two orchestras, East (Tokyo) and West (NY), Satoko is the conductor only. Plus Satoko wrote only three of the seven long pieces. And more importantly, the Nagoya Orchestra sounds nothing like the other two orchestras. This orchestra features mostly younger members with electric guitar (Yasuhiro Usui) in place of the piano, who is also the producer and songwriter. The first time I listened to this disc, I wasn’t sure it was Satoko’s band at all. “Gokaku” features a sort of funk/rock guitar line up front and center!?! At least there is sense of humor involved on the opening piece, which is rather tongue-in-cheek. “Eaves” swings furiously with some great super-quick electric bass and tight, hard-charging horns. Satoko’s “Blueprint” is another tight, well-crafted piece for intricate layers of horns and dynamic drums with a hilarious vocalese section that reminds me of Frank Zappa. There is even more Zappa-like vocal weirdness on “Kondo Star” with a good deal of odd twists and turns and assorted goofiness. “Shogetu” has a spy movie theme with some incredible drums, strong harmonies for the horn section and a great swaggering sax solo. The title track was written by Ms. Fujii and it is a suspense-filled piece for eerie guitar and a great sizzlinging trumpet solo probably by Natsuki. This disc took a bit of getting used to but in the end, there are enough great moments of unexpected surprises to make it another welcome addition to the vast Satoko Fujii catalogue of jewels. – Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery