Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Satoko Fujii Ma-Do: Time Stands Still / Satoko Fujii New Trio: Spring Storm

It somewhat bums me out to write this review because, of the two albums being discussed, one of them is the last album Satoko Fujii’s ma-do quartet will ever release. One of my earliest assignments for this website was a twofer review of Fujii’s 2010 albums. The ma-do album Desert Ship was awesome. In truth, both albums were great, but Desert Shipwas just more my style. It was quartet jazz (re: chamber) that did not stick to stiff charts. Fujii’s compositions were already unusual enough, but the band had a frightening way of inhaling and exhaling the music. It was all very weird and challenging, yet nothing was artistically out of place. But the unexpected death of bassist Norikatsu Koreyasu means that two of Satoko Fujii’s projects—Gato Libre and ma-do—are now buried in the ground for good. Realizing that his sound pretty much made these bands what they are, Fujii doesn’t feel like replacing him.

But when one door slams shut, a window often opens. These two albums from Fujii represent her transition from the abandoned door to the fresh air blowing through the new open window. This time, Fujii returns to the piano trio format that put her on the international jazz map all those years ago by forming the New Trio with Todd Nicholson and Takashi Itani. A final album from ma-do is much better than none at all, and its pairing with New Trio’s Spring Storm secures a better year overall for Fujii and her husband Natsuki Tamura than last year.


CD - £7.99

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