Satoko FUJII & TATSUYA YOSHIDA
One to look East
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Satoko FUJII & TATSUYA YOSHIDA
With a solid classical training, but also love of jazz, the Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii has deepened studies jazz and moved to the US where he attended the two listed schools in Boston: Berklee College and the New England Conservatory, where he finished studies under the guidance of masters of the caliber of George Russell and Paul Bley. Since its inception in the American jazz scene in the mid-nineties, he has revealed not only his skills as a great musician, but also original composer and, despite the young age, the authoritative leader. He worked for nearly twenty years between New York and Tokyo, weaving meaningful relationships in both cities, where it is often found to direct large orchestras. From 2014 he moved to Europe, in Berlin.
In addition to leading formations ranging from trio to quartet, Satoko Fujii loves to perform often in floor-alone or with the duo formula: notable duets made with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura - who is also her husband - with violinist and vocalist Carla Kihlstedt, with pianist Myra Melford and drummer Tatsuya Yoshida, co-leader of the Toh-Kichi duo, which works continuously since 2001. the Japanese pianist is expressed by incorporating elements of free jazz, contemporary classical music, avant -rock and traditional music of his country of origin, in an absolutely personal key, strong language immediately recognizable. In addition to collaborating with musicians of the caliber of Paul Bley, John Zorn and the Rova Saxophone Quartet, the Fujii has played for a long time (1996-2008) and in trio with Mark Dresser on bass and Jim Black on drums, who in Min-Yoh Ensemble, completed by Tamura husband, trombonist Curtis Hasselbring and accordionist Andrea Parkins, a group that has been trying to develop the meeting-fusion between written and improvised music in the collective spirit of the Japanese musical tradition.
Among the many projects it is involved in, the one that sees long talk with drummer Tatsuya Yoshida is without doubt among the most original and surprising, really cross. The overflowing energy of the rock duo knows how to find unpredictable and innovative developments thanks to free improvisation practiced naturally by both musicians. Yoshida, charismatic figure of the Japanese progressive rock, especially for having led during the nineties a historical group, Ruins, only active until a few years ago, plays since 2001 in the electric quartet of Satoko Fujii, but she has also recorded two beautiful disks in duo, in 2002 Toh-Kichi, which also gave the name to the project, and two years later Erans, album produced by John Zorn for his Tzadik label. With the Toh-Kichi duo we are in fact in the presence of a kind of "jazz metal", exciting and never predictable, always leaving a lot of room, being able to use creatively the noise.
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