If you listen to a lot of the music that Satoko Fujii creates, "Solo" may surprise you. There is plenty of power in her percussive left hand on certain tracks but there are also many moments of tenderness. Yes, there is angularity in her melodies and solos but she also gives pieces where the rhythm carries you rapidly forward (all of that and more happens in nine+ minutes of "Geradeaus"). Approach this album with open ears and you will reap musical rewards.
For more information, go to www.satokofujii.com.
Here's the opening track:
Her second album on the label, "Octopus", is also a duo album but this time it's her with Taborn. The pianists did a 12-city tour, each bringing new compositions (two for Ms. Davis, three for Taborn) plus one each from Carla Bley and Sun Ra, What stands out on th initial listening is how compatible and flexible the duo is. Since both are excellent improvisers, these pieces blend a sense of adventure with melodic freedom and rhythmic experiments.
"Octopus" is quite an artistic accomplishment. Two pianists, Kris Davis and Craig Taborn, each with an individual style, coming together and creating such fascinating music. Both have proven themselves to be intrepid experimenters, musicians who do not follow trends but follow their passions.
For more information, go to krisdavis.net. To watch one of the duo's concerts (from Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center n Washington, DC, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4Eu80jR9Kk.
Here's a track:
This past month, pianist/composer Porter has released a Quartet date co-led by saxophonist Phil Scarff (on Whaling City Sound) and "Beauty & Mystery" (Altrusioni), a session that features bassist John Patitucci and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington plus saxophonist Tia Fuller (on two of the 10 tracks). It's the latter recording that is our focus.
"Beauty & Mystery" is the perfect title for this album by Lewis Porter. The playing of the pianist with Terri Lyne Carrington, John Patitucci, and Tia Fuller, is creative music at its best. While the music pays tribute to several of Porter's influences (as well as his love for ragas), the results sound contemporary and alive. Find it, play it loud, and climb into these captivating sounds.
For more information, go to www.lewisporter.com.