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“One of the best gigs I’ve seen this year…one of my favorite working groups.” – Steve Dalachinsky, The Brooklyn Rail

“...the rarely heard sound of two trumpets collaborating, interweaving and cross-talking is at the center of the group Kaze, whose penultimate set of the festival was also one of the high points of the overall program.... [The] set list slalomed from structured parts to an increasingly free-spirited abandon...” – Josef Woodard, DownBeat

“[Satoko Fujii] is a demon on the keys, capable of delicately pretty melodies as easily as full-keyboard chord-blocks, and amazingly controlled inside-the-piano stringwork.” – Byron Coley, exclaim.ca

“Intense and playful, down-to-earth and international, Kaze communicates in a musical language of contrasts and continuity.” – Virginia Schaefer, JazzTimes

“I can report nothing but complete astonishment at how amazing the show by Satoko Fujii and Kaze was last night at Duende in Oakland.” – Larry Blood, KUSP

“Just back from one of the most musically dynamic and intense "jazz" sets of the year: Satoko Fujii's Kaze quartet at Duende, with Natsuki Tamura and Christian Pruvost on trumpets and Peter Orins on drums. If you think you can imagine what piano, drums, and two trumpets will sound like, think again.” — Derk Richardson, KPFA Radio
“Takes jazz abstraction to a sublime limit. And it does sound like the process of abstract painting — everything is about balance, the relationship of mark to ground, the shape of lines, with vague reference to a tonal center of fixed time-keeping… There is suspense, virtuosity, mystery, calm.” – Jon Garelick, Giant Steps

“The music built slowly and deliberately through long ambient stretches, and when the sophisticated melodies showed up, they were dispensed with in a matter of seconds. Fujii’s quartet could go from 0 to 100 at the drop of a hat, but only once in a while, and nearly always at the perfect time… Romantic, cacophonous, intelligent, and thoroughly without pretense.” – Steve Mossberg, Arts Fuse

"I first heard Kaze at Jazz Art Sengawa 2011.  The group has unusual instrumentation - two trumpets, drums and a piano - and their performance was extraordinary...  I actually felt that their music expressed the wind itself, the turbulence, breeze, whirlwind, the first gale of spring....Kaze is a wonderful new group on the jazz scene." - Koich Makigami, Artistic Director of Jazz Art Sengawa

“What I personally love about the music of Satoko Fuji is what I love about the music of Myra Melford. It’s the journey of truth. Whether it's the large ensemble, small groups with her husband or indeed as is with her most recent recording, solo piano, it's always a voyage of discovery." — John O'Brien, Radio host, Giant Steps (Australia)

“I was blown away by their collective virtuosity and by their kinetic interaction, from the first notes they played. The two-trumpet line, in some ways, hearkens back to Louis Armstrong and Joe Oliver… Satoko Fujii’s virtuoso piano formed an integral part of the ensemble, negotiating between poly-directional rhythms and entwined melodic lines, sometimes subtending the performance harmonically, sometimes offering percussive counterpoint. Her playing is dynamic, ever-present, but also open and responsive.” – Kevin McNeilly, Frank Styles.com

“Best live show.” — Masahiko Yuh, Jazz Tokyo, 2011

ATODY MAN (2018)

Top 20 Recordings of 2018 – Ken Weiss, Cadence

Best of 2018 – Colin Green, Free Jazz Collective

Top 10 Recordings of 2018 – Ken Weiss, 13th Annual NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll Ballot

Honorable Mention, Best Releases of 2018 – Laurence Donohue-Greene, New York City Jazz Record

Best of 2018 – Kevin Reilly, Downtown Music Gallery

4-stars: “Atody Man continues the Kaze tradition of providing all its members the opportunity to showcase their multiple talents while maintaining responsiveness to each other and the unpredictable nature of the music. Like all the formations that Fujii and Tamura are aligned with, there are no clichés associated with this group. Atody Man is – so far – the most innovative of the Kaze albums and a worthy addition to the larger Fujii/Tamura catalog.” – Karl Ackermann, All About Jazz

“Atody Man” is impeccable in its execution, rewarding for its variety, and relentless in its pursuit for the new and confounding.” – Chris Robinson, Point of Departure

“This quartet proves that even a highly unorthodox formula for a band can churn out great music.” – John Garratt, Pop Matters

“These discs speak as much to evolution as to backward glances and to the restlessly creative spirits that fostered their creation.” – Marc Medwin, New York City Jazz Record

Uminari (2015)

#1 Jazz CD in 2015 – Music Magazine (Japan)

“Each one of Kaze's releases has been uniquely filmic and expressionistic and Uminari is no exception. The seamless and exquisite camaraderie among the ensemble members make it cohesive and imaginative while brimming with spontaneity...Satoko Fujii once again proves that she is one of the most brilliant, compelling and intelligent voices in modern music.” – Hrayr Attarian, All About Jazz 

“Considering that Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura have so many different projects…Kaze might just be their best.” – Bruce Lee Gallanter, DownTown Music Gallery

The title is a Japanese word which depicts a low frequency sound from the sea that presages a storm, and it’s an appropriate name for this disc of bold, uncompromising music.” – Peter Jones, London Jazz News

“...serene and stormy spontaneous compositions.” – Kevin Lowenthal, Boston Globe

 “4.5 stars. This is music which is meant to be experienced rather than merely listened to, with time and space being changed for its duration, if not after.” – Budd Kopmann, All About Jazz

 “This gal's energy seems to know no bounds and she lays it out on display here once again in the service of blowing open your mind.” – Chris Spector, Midwest Record

“If you’re a fan of the free, this is a home.” – George Harris, Jazz Weekly
“Put the whole thing together with the compositional motives, moods and varied sequencing of who plays and who lays out and you get something avant in ways that are well thought through. It all keeps the serious listener busy and fascinated, involved from moment-to-moment following the many event developments and their very musical and often unexpected twists and turns.  Another great one from Kaze! Give this one your ears and it will give back in kind.”  – Grego Edwards, Gapplegate Music
“...hypnotizing.” – Michael Konick, michaelkonik.com

“Alternately brash or meditative, Kaze is one of the hippest projects yet from Tokyo’s Fujii...Fujii underlines that Kaze is a democratic collective originally instigated by Orins, but her wider reputation as a stunning pianist, prolific composer and veteran bandleader has been a key draw for jazz fans since the group formed in 2010. On their latest disc, Uminari (or Sea Of Sound), the adventurous band can swerve from swinging, tuneful inside jazz to outside, spontaneous improvisations in a single track.” – Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal

“Japanese pianist/composer Satoko Fujii, and her collaborators... live on the frontiers of jazz and the frontiers of sound.” – Andrew Hamlin, Northwest Asian Weekly

“There’s plenty of open space here for all the players to develop ideas individually and together, all taken, a step forward from their previous release Tornado, but like that one, this also requires some attention and plenty of listens before it all makes sense, but the persistence pays off.” – Peter Thelen, Exposé Online

“…impulsive, intuitive and radical avant-garde jazz… amazingly catchy…intuitive improvisation…agile and relaxed…. Lyrical depth and expressive panache… wit, energy and playfulness… A treat for avant experts.” – Volkmar Mantel, Ragazzi Music

“Kaze offers a compelling example of free jazz today.  Compositions are perfectly scripted, a well-oiled interaction and playing of beautiful power…” – Jazz Magazine (France)

 “…collectively a melodic groove sets in, as if inevitable…. Those who hope that Kaze will have and extraordinary trumpet sound, comedy and drama, will not be disappointed.” – Rigobert Dittmann, Bad Alchemy (Germany)

“Fujii’s piano has a sudden dark impressionistic but economic touch with a keen flair for noise. Territories crossed by voices whose expression is determined by their rise slipping through the cracks of the tempo. Hypnotics are the effects that Tamura get in 20 minutes of his composition, inspiration, manipulating with consummate technique the breath on the color threshold.” – Dalla Bona, Musica Jazz (Italy)

“Kaze is characterized by a line of fire consisting of two trumpets: Natsuki Tamura and that of the French Christian Pruvost…. experimental, with songs whose written component is reduced to a few notes of the theme.. the opening track, Tioky Atsimo, is a brilliant synthesis of the capacity and character of the four musicians: Pruvost climbs to the high notes of his instrument, with Tamura in support of those heights with a three-octave range.  Fujii creates seismic movements with the extensive timbre and tone of her piano, and Orins adapts to diverse temperatures oof the music, with crashing performances, measured and deep.” – Antonio Terzo, Jazz Colours (Italy)

“The Japanese-French quartet Kaze has developed the music for his third CD on a longer tour. Her vocabulary is derived from post-bop and especially from free jazz, but instead of their typical structures, longer forms are created…. The expressive trumpets with unheard sounds by the pianist and the drummer. It’s new, somewhat rougher jazz that comes along so clearly designed so that no one has hearing problems.” – Jürg Solothurmann, Jazz’n’More (Switzerland)

“The opening track, a composition of French trumpet player Christian Pruvost, comes with blaring trumpets and hectic at times piano and drums. Over time the group arrives in a march, after the chaos of the beginning returns again to ring the song eventually with bold piano-drums groove and a jubilant melody of the horns. Just like on the previous album Unimari stands out with many long sections (the shortest lasts ten minutes) that change dynamics, mood and intensity.” – Herman te Loo, JazzFlits

Tornado (2013)

 “Its sound is as idiosyncratically original and no-hold-barred as it comes… Quirky characters, sudden bursts of madcap action, and segments of surreal cartoon lunacy that as a whole makes perfect sense. That's the art of Satoko Fujii and Kaze.” – Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

“Their 2011 debut Rafale was more than just promising. Tremendous, even, so their sophomore album Tornado is probably a good place to start… Avant-garde noise is sometimes just noise, but Kaze’s sound and methods are beyond that. It’s the sound of a deadly vine, choking or caressing its subject, passing through fury and tranquility with equal capability.” – John Garratt, Pop Matters

“Attractive from the outset with its colossal energy and spontaneity, Kaze reveals Satoko Fujii in yet another light with "Tornado." – Lorraine Soliman, JazzMan (France)

“It is finished in the drama of high density.”— Shiro Matsuo, Music Magazine

“The performances are exhilarating. From Orins' sensitively dynamic drumming, Satoko's highly supercharged, creative, well-timing piano outbursts to the edge-of-the-sound-and-back trumpeting of Tamura and Pruvost, this is outstanding avant music. One of the best I've heard this year!” – Greg Edwards, Gapplegate Music Review

“Even more eruptive, more unpredictable and more contrasting than the debut. As before, this is music about mood and emotion, not structure or technical features. They rely some on twentieth century classical, free jazz, European folk music and moments of stark, gentle beauty.” – Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews

“Like the last disc by Kaze, this one is equally adventurous with pieces written by three of the four members (everyone but Pruvost). Both trumpeters are superb players and well utilized due the strong compositions and daring improv sections… This disc is one of this year's best.” – Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

“Erratic channels of magnificence and eccentricity course through Tornado and sculpt a spirit of adventurousness into the rock. This is invigorating music, a palette of sound that can’t be plotted with ease.” – Jordan Richardson, Canadian Audiophile

“…a tightly integrated and artistically fecund unit with a distinct sound and purpose… Simply put, this album is an avant-garde trumpet fan's dream-come-true… Tornado stands as further evidence that Fujii and Tamura are unparalleled as players, composers and musical conceptualists. By continually inviting new musicians into their inner circle, they only strengthen their own capabilities. “ – Dave Wayne, All About Jazz

“Tornado is more explosive, unpredictable and juxtaposing than the band’s first outing. There are deceptively lovely moments which contrast and/or collide with a kaleidoscope of tempo changes, timbre alterations, dissonance, and influences from jazz, European and Asian folk, contemporary classical, and avant-rock.” – Doug Simpson, Audiophile Audition

“The trumpets burst out of the gate, and the pianist almost makes the drummer an afterthought. And when the fury breaks, they keep it interesting in subtler ways. A-” – Tom Hull, Jazz Prospecting

Rafale (2011)

Best Releases of 2011 — Eyal Hareuveni, All About Jazz

Free Jazz Album Of The Year 2011, Stef Gijssels, Free Jazz Collective

Best Releases of 2011 — Mark F. Turner, All About Jazz

PopMatters Best Jazz of 2011 — John Garratt, Pop Matters

Avant Music News Best of 2011, Mike Borella
Something Else! S.Victor Aaron’s Top Albums for 2011

Best of 2011 — Christ Robinson, Outsideinsideout

Jazz Tokyo Masahiko Yuh’s  “Best Live Concert 2011”

“This is a stunning achievement from note one…the whole disc teams with life, blistering free jazz tempered by moments of composed introspection that roil with their own undercurrents, threatening to explode at any moment.” Mark Medwin, The New York City Jazz Record

 “Kaze is among the freest sounding [of Fujii’s recordings] I’ve heard to date…They operate in hushed dynamic territory…but play with equal invention and commitment…” –JB, Paris Transatlantic Magazine
 “Thrilling throughout.” — Shiro Matsuo, Music Magazine

“9 out of 10. Peter Orins and Pruvost create an explosive sound with the couple that’s also impressive in its movement… Can’t come more recommended.” – John Garratt, Pop Matters

 “’Noise Chopin’ honors the bicentennial of the Polish composer’s birth with a work that progresses from raw trumpet noise to a rollicking composition driven by Orins’ trap kit.” ― Mike Shanley, JazzTimes

 “Five stars: An expansive set… four enormously active minds on the same musical plane… captivating and in some instances, mind-bending pieces, sans any limiting factors.” – Glenn Astarita, Jazz Review

“Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura make jazz that is always challenging and ambitious. While it may lack the sort of smoothness that would ensure mass appeal, it is a dense, powerful sound.” — Shoji Ichikawa, Stereo

“…nearly every composition leads into the next, with timbral inventions designed to bring out the unusual instrument tinctures as well as harmonic intersections among the four sound sources…memorable, adventurous listening.” – Ken Waxman, JazzWord

 “…twists and turns, noise followed by lyrical beauty; nuanced percussion followed by powerhouse drumming; and wild cacophonies that lead into introspective solo slots. Expect the unexpected.” – Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

“On Kaze (2011, Circum-Libra) this bass-less, dual trumpet setup results in a painterly and vigorously expressive group sound….The cathartic release of accumulated tension is powerfully effective on record; it must have been doubly so for the audience at the concert at which Kaze was  recorded.” — Tim Owen, Dalston Sound

 “An unending eruption of creative intent, bursting with exuberant talent.” — Eisuke Sato, CD Journal

 “…a curious and challenging side venture for Fujii and an opportunity for Tamura to match wits with another trumpeter [Christian Pruvost] with equal interest and skill in extended techniques for the horn.” – Stuart Kremsky, IAJRC Journal

“…redefines listening to music, redefines genres, redefines playing music.…an incredibly rich listening experience, ranging from intimate impressionism to bursts of expressionism, from soundtrack-like car chases to avant-garde soundscapes, and the occasional rock beat. You get it all here.” – Stef, Free Jazz

 “Each piece employs a different strategy and each is fascinating…both trumpet players work well together, consistently pushing each other and exchanging ideas.” – Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

 “Natsuki and Christian coax more unlikely sounds from their trumpets than you could ever imagine…it is wild!” – D. Oscar Groomes, O’s Place Jazz Newsletter
“At times all four players are seemingly going off in different directions but in the end everyone converges…be prepared for some dazzling sounds.” – Pete Pardo, Sea of Tranquility

Projects Reviews
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