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S. Fujii & Otomo Y. - Perpetual Motion

Dee Dee McNeil, Musicalmemoirs


Both of these celebrated musicians have roots in the Avant-garde. This is a first-time meeting of two stellar improvisational masters, Satoko Fujii’s piano with Otomo Yoshihide’s electric guitar. The title of this album perhaps best describes it’s contents. Opening with gong sounds and plucked piano strings; the lower register of the guitar whines like a bass inside electric currents ripping through the air. My imagination conjures up train wheels racing along steel girders, and I become the traveler, pulled along on a music journey by these two talented artists. There are squeaking doors opening and closing along my journey and thunderstorms in the piano’s lower register that wet the train with nature music. The duo has divided this album into a four-part suite with the singular title of the album, “Perpetual Motion” and the addition of roman numerals, one, two, three and four.

Otomo Yoshihide is greatly known and respected in Japan. He has scored over 100 films, as well composing for television shows. This celebrates a completely different musical side of the guitarist. Consequently, he is also known and popular among people who are not interested in Avant-garde music. Satoko Fujii was excited to play with him. Yoshihide offers metallic, sharp-edged phrases and Fujii counters with energetic piano voicings full of crescendos and aggressive energy. Otomo is a pioneer in the electronic/acoustic bliss of improvisational music, and he crosses genre’s and avoids descriptions. In 1991, Yoshihide released his first tentative album in Hong Kong as the leader of an experimental rock group called “Ground Zero.” Next, he formed his own “New Jazz Quintet.” This inspired many commercial appearances and blossomed his talent. Quickly, his reputation spread like hot wasabi on the tongue. Both Yoshihide and Fujii offer their composer skills to this project to tickle the listener’s interest.

Satoko is a respected and heralded improviser and praised as one of the most original voices in Avant-garde jazz today. She has created this reputation by being present and steadily working at her craft for over twenty-five years. This dynamic pianist is world-renowned since 1996, consistently electrifying her audiences with modern, improvised music and free-jazz. Satoko is one of the world’s leading composers for large jazz ensembles, but is just as comfortable in a duo situation. If you are looking for surprise, creativity, and musical genius, this is a project packed with all three innovations.