Saturday, July 5, 2008

Satoko Fujii Min-Yoh @ Roulette 7/3/08

This just looked like something I would like. I hadn't realized that I once saw her big, big orchestra at The Stone a few years ago. That was really awesome and the musicians took up more space than the audience. It was a hot day, and most of the audience was friends of one of the band members. Fujii played the piano a little bit in that show and she was great. It seems worthwhile to always have an eye out for her projects. I'll also have to look for her and the trumpet player if I ever get to Japan.

She started by standing at the piano and playing the strings in creative ways I've never seen before. It had such a big sound. I was reminded of Edmar Castenada and Anthony Coleman. It was way more than a cross between those 2,though. I think after that she sat and played the keys for the rest of the show.

This was an all-star lineup and everybody shined. The trumpet came from Japan and I see why she wanted to bring him and not get someone around here. I mean, we have a lot of great trumpet players, too, but this guy was really excellent.

She said that growing up in Japan, they didn't listen to much Japanese music. That seems to be changing, but in her school days, there was very little interest. She started getting interested recently. This project is formed around old Japanese folk music from 300 or 400 years ago. She knows some people have started exploring this, but they've used traditional Japanese instruments. She knew that didn't work and so she put together this ensemble. She tried to describe what effect this project had on her, which sounded immense. Unfortunately, she couldn't express it in English.

It had to be a lot more modern than the traditional. I mean just by having Andrea Parkins there with all of her pedals and wires, it's going to be more modern in an avant-garde kind of way. I also loved when she just played the squeeze part of the accordion, which made a wind-like sound. People do that with the trumpet sometimes, but it was better with the accordion.

The whole thing was stellar and I know I didn't want it to end.

Natsuki Tamura - trumpet
Curtis Hasselbring - trombone
Andrea Parkins - accordion
Satoko Fujii - piano, vocal
JULY 3rd, 8:30pm

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