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IN THE NEWS

SATOKO FUJII QUARTET

gMixing avant garde rock and free jazz, the Satoko Fujii Quartet, led by the intrepid, boundary-breaking pianist Fujii, is stretching the limits of jazz.h  \ Michael Harrington, Philadelphia Inquirer

gJapanese pianist Satoko Fujii is building up a fan-base in this country for her very original brand of multi-cultural jazz and free improvisation. The pianistfs compositional talents certainly match her improvisational ones, and the selection here was totally compellingc Satoko Fujii calls the quartet her grock bandh.  But though it may be loud, if not by rock standards, it evokes the mastery of improvisational virtues which its leader has always shown, and constitutes one of her most fascinating ventures to date.h \ Andy Hamilton, Jazz Review (UK)

 gThe Vulcan band, which includes her trumpet-playing husband Natsuki Tamura, is avant-garde jazz with a rock sensibilityc the proportion and grandeur one knows in symphonic music.h \ Russell Arthur Roberts, LA Jazz Scene

Bacchus (2007)

#4: 2007 Japanese Jazz Awards \ Swing Journal
New and Noteworthy \ Jazziz

gBacchus, by Fujiifs Japanese quartet, might be called improvised avant-fusion. Her compositions and love of melody underpin the tunes, but that is not what surfaces on first listen; freedom and sheer power do.h
\ Steve Greenlee, Jazz Times

gThe quartet was formed in 1998, yet their sound is fresh as can be, yielding nothing to the years that have passedc It is a sound that lives here, now.h \ Yo Nakagawa, Swing Journal

gA group without peers, combining formidable powers of both conception and expression.h
\ Tatsuya Nagato, Jazz Life

gThey make the conventions of jazz seem like an annoying constraint. Play at such a high level, undergirded by a strong shared aesthetic, is possible only when a group has been together this long. Though their music seems to consist of 99% tension and 1% release, the surefooted rhythms and artful melodies provide a sonic pleasure rarely found in gfreeh jazz.h \ Keisaku Ueno, Rhythm and Drums Magazine

gAn invincible ensemble that plays with verve and passion even as it fluidly negotiates complex, irregular time signatures.h \ Koji Murai, CD Journal

gAnother exchange of heavyweight punches from this group; their stubborn refusal to indulge in one iota of pandering to current musical fashion is a joy. That said, this release may be their most melodious yet.h
\ Shiro Matsuo, Music Magazine

gThis is Fujiifs more gprogressiveh group which means there are a lot of lurching rock rhythmsc This is fusion music but a very personal and heady kind, just one of the many forms Satoko Fujii has mastered.h \ Jerome Wilson, Cadence

 gPianist Satoko Fujii must be considered as a member of the elite group of composer/players in the jazz world today. Possessing enormous energy and a restless intellect, jazz of the highest quality and of all genres seems to pour out of herc Fujiifs music remains instantly recognizable because of her ability to integrate sometimes extreme contrast, with fetching melodies, humor, hard-driving energy and constant surprise. Bacchus is music for the adventurous ear and mind, and it delivers many times over. Any listener coming to jazz from progressive rock has much in which to revel.h \ Budd Kopman, All About Jazz

gItfs yet another disc full of surprises and impassioned creativity.h \ Stuart Kremsky, IAJRC Journal

gOn their fourth release, Fujii changes the formulac Instead of trying to make it work, in a sense, she lets it not work, which allows things to fall together naturally. The bright production allows all the instruments to be heard, and Fujii leaves enough room in the compositions for band-mates to play at their varied best, making for an unusual, rewarding record.h \ Kurt Gottschalk, Coda

 gIn the company of her longstanding quartet, Fujiifs on familiar turf. A rock- and fusion-influenced take on her notoriously craggy (but never remote) compositions, itfs hard to imagine any lover of edgy jazz not digging this stuff.h \ Jason Bivins, Signal To Noise

gThe music moves in a natural progression. There are never any odd moments of indecision as Fujii is a master at moving things alongc Each of the players gets to develop their own unique language within the confines of these compositions. This is music that is highly inspirational, forward-looking and full of brisk bursts of emotions.h
\ Tom Sekowski, The Live Music Report

gThe quarter surges with vivacious electricity, delivering evocative melodies bolstered by complex harmonic counterpoint and expansive dynamicsc Another phenomenal outing from Satoko Fujiifs Quartet, Bacchus rewards repeated listening, revealing new layers over time.h \ Troy Collins, All About Jazz

gPianist Satoko Fujii may or may not label her music (itfs doubtful), but there are certainly no constraints on the sounds she makes. The quartet is a powerhouse affairc The sound is loud, full of pulsing adrenaline and in your face brashness, but things seem a bit more measured than on previous efforts, resulting in their most approachable outingc Bacchus showcases Fujii at her best: focused, fearless, and not paying any attention at all to what might be expected from the confines of anybodyfs labels.h \ Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

gFujii is at or near the peak of her powersc Nonetheless, considering her vast recorded output over 15 years, one could make a strong case, supported by this excellent CD, that she could be the most important creative musician of our time, a contention hard to argue against.h \ Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide

gSatoko is without question, THE most talented improvising keyboard artist on the jazz scene todayc Absolutely alive jazz that will knock your socks off! This one gets our most highly recommended for sure. Get this one if youfre looking for tastefully crafted music that wonft just settle inh \ Dick Metcalf, Improvijazzation Nation

gImprovised and rocking, this jazz crew knows how to deliverc A real moving target of a player, Fujii delivers yet another diverse outing that stands apart from previous sets. A real find for the open eared.h
\ Chris Spector, Midwest Record

gSome of the songs have quite a bit more structure than her typical free jazz works, but wefd still classify this CD as free fusionc it is Natsuki Tamurafs work on trumpet that makes this Fujii configuration distinct. Satokofs compositions here are complex and allow heavy doses of creative improvisation.h \ D. Oscar Groomes, Ofs Place

Angelona (2005)

 gThis album is f***ing wild.  Part free jazz a la Zorn, part experimental rock, Satoko's improvisatory collection is wonderfully chaotic, percussive and dissonant. That is, when she isn't laying down dark and delicate harmonies, like in the opening to "collage - in the night," a composition that streams off her kinetic piano melodies and builds with flowing, Maria Schneider-esque grandeur. Whether she's furiously smacking the piano around or gently caressing harmonies out of it, Satoko uses the full tonal and dynamic range of the instrument, and it's an exhilarating thing to hear. Named for the ancient goddess of secrecy, Angelona indeed feels mythical, as well as raw, transcendent, and wonderful.h \ Michael Gallant, Keyboard Magazine

gFujii, who divides her time between the Apple and Japan, has released over two dozen CDs since 1992, each different from the others and each outstandingcAngelona once again shows trumpeter Tamura, [Fujiifs] husband and a crafty composer himself, to be her ideal interpreter.h \ Francis Davis, The Village Voice

gTherefs enough energy on this CD to power a small town – as youfd rightly expect of musicians of such world-class stature. Husband and wife team Tamura and Fujii are key figures in the Japanese avant-garde, while bassist Hayakawa has played with John Zorn, and drummer Yoshida is an erstwhile Derek Bailey collaborator better known as one half on thrash-prog duo Ruins. Together, they whip up a dense, fiery brew of free-jazz and freak-rock that sounds like the missing link between Cecil Taylor and Frank Zappa. \ Daniel Spicer, Jazzwise

 gOn Angelona, pianist Satoko Fujii documents her well-honed Japanese quartet for their fourth release as a unit. What makes this quartet so exciting is its turn-on-a-dime tendencies borne from an almost innate ability to contemplate each playerfs next direction. This simpatico relationship works well for their bustling blend of Jazz, Rock, and elements of Improvised Music, but to be sure, this six-song program is a well-crafted exercise borne from Fujiifs diverse and uncompromising pen. Angelona makes one think and plays with expectations though every twist and turn. \ Jay Collins, Cadence

gcAngelona is a fascinating combination of avant-garde jazz and progressive rockc The piano melodies are complex and speedy, reminiscent of 70fs fusioneers and art-rockers like Chick Corea and Rick Wakeman. Meanwhile, Tamura slurs his lines, blurting notes through distortion and wah-wah pedals. \ Phil Freeman, Global Rhythm

gOne might think of this group as pianist/composer Fujiifs erockf band, given the presence of electric bassist Takeharu Hayakawa and drummer Tatsuya Yoshida, known for his work with the Ruins. And, while the music on Angelona is in your face, the working methods are much more closely related to jazz than they are to rockc Fujiifs sound world is a kaleidoscope, and those familiar with her work have come to expect the unexpected. If any artist can be said to meet expectations by upsetting them, shefs one.h \Mike Chamberlain, Coda

gForming a progressive alliance of jazz and rock, Satoko Fujii unleashes Angelona with a flash-bang authority that grabs you hard and fastc The impressionistic landscape turns in many directions, allowing the listener to interpret at willc Together, the four artists combine fire and ice, balancing their effusive performance with lovely melodic statements and a rhythmic groove. While Angelona represented secrecy applied to the body of mythological beliefs of an ancient society, Angelona comes to us with wide-open expression through Satoko Fujiifs progressive ensemble. \Jim Santella, All About Jazz

gFirst of all, these compositions interwoven by different odd meters by Fujii, whose piano style is sweet and strong, are quite stimulating. The performance that sounds brisk and lets the compositions evolve dynamically and thrillingly is both edgy and mild.  With noble congruence and grooves, their music creates some jazz-rock kind of mood. I become intoxicated by the restless waves this graceful performance, featuring solos of all the members, generates.h \ Mark Rappaport, Music Magazine (Japan)

gSakoto does a great job of writing challenging, quick-changing, progressive/jazz/rock music that this daredevil quartet excels at playingc As always, Sakoto Fujii and her extraordinary quartet deliver the goods and keep all of us smilingh \ Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery in NYC

 gThe aggressive trumpet of Natsuki Tamura, always stout bass and drums of Takeharu Hayakawa and Tatsuya Yoshida respectively, and the straightforward piano and compositions by the leader Satoko Fujii are all uncompromising.  They donft bother to turn on the charm in front of the audience.  But there surely are melodies that people can hum.  There might be no more than one band whose weight is comparable to this quartet: Led Zeppelin.h \ Shiro Matsuo, Music Magazine

Zephyros (2004)

Jazz Top Ten 2004, Tom Hull, Village Voice

Ten CDs of Highest Artistic Integrity in 2004 \ Laurence Svirchev, Jazz House

Top 10 CDs of the Year –- Jim Santella, Cadence

2004 Top Tens \ Benjamin Franklin V

2004 Top Tens \ Laurence Svirchev, Coda

Top 10 CDs of the Year 2004,  gJazz on 3h \ Jazzwise

2003 Best 5 Jazz Album \ Music Magazine

#7 in Swing Journal's 2004 \ Japanese Jazz Awards

Best Jazz and Blues of 2004 \ Mark E. Gallo, jazzreview.com

Recommended new release \ Bruce Gallanter, All About Jazz - New York

Personal taste \ Sam Prestianni, Jazziz

JJA Membersf 2004 Top Ten Lists

"I felt stunned when I experienced the absolute lyricism that seems to carry an influence of Debussy and Schoenberg." \ Tachibana, CD Journal

gHer crashing entrance shows why she gets compared to Cecil Taylor . . . trumpeter Natsuki Tamura prefers to wax lyrical even when surrounded by chaos\which gives this music a touching voice on top of the finely drawn manga violence of Fujiifs piano. A MINUSh \ Tom Hull, Village Voice

"This the third amazing release from the ever incredible pianist, composer and multi-bandleader Satoko Fujii with her husband and ace trumpeter Natsuki Tamurac Satoko appears to have worked long and hard on the material here, as each piece features layers on complex arrangements, as well as tight ensemble playingc Once more Satoko Fujii's outstanding quartet delivers!h \ Downtown Music Gallery (NYC)

gFujiifs piano is stellar as always, by turns fluid, rhythmic, and totally wigged out. Throughout, the musicians give a wonderful sense of playing together wile doing their own thing within Fujiifs inventive compositions.h \ Jon Davis, Exposé

gHer vision seems indebted not only to the chamber-jazz of ECM and jazz-rock but also to European art music. As a writer, Fujii is both a confident and distinctly individualistic stylist. As a player she combines muscularity and rigor with and unusual delicacy. Another strong release from a growing talent.h \ Duncan Heining, Jazzwise

 gSatoko Fujii continues to amaze with her florid and expansive explorations of sound colourc itfs well up to Satokofs challenging standard.h \ Brian Morton, The Wire

gThe pianist along with her quartet explores the intersection of probing free jazz and boisterous rock energy.h \ Michael Rosenstein, Cadence

gAn appreciation of Fujiifs sound requires a suspension of expectations. Her compositions are true originals, beholden to no one individual style... her playing ranges from delicate and subdued to supremely agitated, from classically nuanced to belligerently percussive, often in the same songc Therefs no one out there to compare to Satoko Fujii. A true original, at her best on Zephyros.h \ Dan McClenaghan,  All About Jazz.

gMy first real acquaintance last year with the music of Fujii and her various collaborators was a truly memorable experience which left me somewhat stunned, especially the work of the quartet.  Here was a totally visceral sound that successfully merged a strong jazz sensibility with energies firmly rooted in rock. And this new release presents more of a similar nature, a superb example of composition and improvisation complementing each other.h \ Paul Donnelly, ejazzNews

gAt one stage there were a lot of sensual atonal musical exchanges in the crystal-clear space.  On another occasion there is a lot of howling of die-hard rock and cheerful rondos.  Their impressive metamorphosis and sophisticated sensitivity to musical styles that belong to nowhere are the real essentials of this albumc there are no fragments in any parts of this music that will tell you what is going to happen in the next moment.  Have we ever felt as pleasant as to see such a colorful sonic space?h \ Tatsuya Nagato, Jazz Life

gThe sound masterfully crafted by Fujiifs group forges music while it is squeaking, twisting around and screaming.  The musicians are jumping and running like springs. And they still seem to retain their energy to jump. Wow!h
\ Kazutomi Aoki, CD Journal

 gA masterful pianist who splits her time between Japan and New York, Julliard-trained Fujii and her quartet challenge and soothe, excite and incite.h \ Mark E. Gallo, jazzreview.com

gThe quartet does a remarkable job of carving out three-dimensional space on Fujiifs compositions, which are really dramatic song-poems or symphonies written in miniature and played with the heft of a hardcore punk-rock band. Think Cecil Taylor meets Rage Against the Machine.h\ Seth Rogovoy, Berkshire Eagle

gSatoko Fujii has the capability of making music in several different contexts and breathing life into each one of them... Whatever form the music may take, whatever directions it may break into, at the end it all coalesces into a cogent whole. And that is something worth listening to.h \ Jerry DfSouza, All About Jazz 

gThe Satoko Fujii Quartet makes full use of their characteristic musical density and speediness.  Satoko Fujiifs powerful left hand, Takeharu Hayakawafs fat, distorted and rolling electric bass sound, busy but extremely solid drumming of Tatsuya Yoshida and Tamura Natsukifs trumpet conveying linear power and lyricism altogether pump out impending groove which is maximized by the slick and radical mixing technique incorporating compression and reverberation.h \ Koji Murai, Swing Journal
 
gSwirling with unbridled energy, Satoko Fujiifs quartet forges ahead with creative improvised music that swings. Jazz has to grow. Hers is an ensemble of forward-looking artists who assure us that it willc a top ten winner in this third release from Fujiifs remarkable quartet.h \ Jim Santella, All About Jazz 

gFujii is unquestionably Japanfs flagship free-jazz composer-pianist.  Her thematic and conceptual approach mirrors Cecil Taylor and the daring experiments carried out by a fledgling Weather Report.  She and her group grab us by the collar with her arresting compositionsch \ John Stevenson, ejazznews.com

gThe Satoko Fujii Quartet proves that Zephyros, Greek mythologyfs god of the west wind, still blows exceedingly hardc This is a band of immense technical prowess and their musical chops do everything to enhance emotional perceptionsc One canft help but be swept away in the wake by this quartetfs musicality.h  Laurence Svirchev \ Exclaim! Canadafs Music Authority

 gThe ginnovationsh of The Bad Plus got a lot of peoplefs attention last year but, actually, artists like Satoko Fujii have been putting a hard-rock punch in their sound a bit longer.  The New England-trained, Japanese pianistfs latest quartet set combines her tough avant-jazz concepts with powerhouse dynamicsc remarkably engaging.h \ S. D. Feeney, Face

gSome of the most ripping performances and compositional acrobatsc Awesome!  I can wholeheartedly recommend Fujiifs music.h \ Jerry Kranitz, Aural-Innovations

g[The] Satoko Fujii Quartetfs Zephyros begs the opinion that Japanese contemporary jazz deserves our immediate attention.h \ Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise

gZephyros is an enchanting surreal adventurec Satoko Fujii has a winner with this release, her quartet is at its best, and each performance sparkles with creativity.h \ Lee Prosser, jazzreview.com

gTheir music sounds heroic, exciting and surprisingly exquisite.  Oh, man, where does their endless creativity come from?h \ Fumiaki Fujimoto, Swing Journal

Minerva (2003)

Top 15 CDs of 2003 \ Thomas Schulte, Outsight

Top 10 CDs of 2003 \ Jim Santella, Cadence

gSatoko Fujii, one of the most original pianists in free jazz, has yet another winner with Minerva.h \ Steve Greenlee, Boston Globe

gAs usual, Fujii's most recent discs \ the propulsive Bell the Cat! with her American trio and the searing Minerva with her Japanese quartet \ feature the pianist as a sympathetic band leader, inventive composer and compelling improviser.h \ Sam Prestianni, Jazziz

gYoshida and Hayakawa practically dare Fujii and her trumpet playing husband, Natsuki Tamura, to deal with it.  They respond firmly but with sensitivity, and this is the contrast that gives Minerva its electric temperament.h
 \ Aaron Steinberg, JazzTimes

gPost-Cecil Taylor pianistic complexity is juxtaposed with rock rhythms and hypnotic, minimal bass riffsc An awesome recording.h \ Andy Hamilton, The Wire

gOffers a fresh approach to improvised and music and features some outstanding solo work by both Fujii and Tamura. Adventuresome and rewarding.h \ Stuart Kremsky, International Association of Jazz Record Collectors Journal

g**** Four stars.  Immediately engagingcAt times angular and jagged, at other powerful and vigorous but always lyrical and intelligent. The opening track, eTatsu Takef and its follower eWarp,f are serious pieces of etake no prisonersf jazz-rockc Minerva was of course, the goddess of thunder.  Appropriate, somehow.h \ Duncan Heining, Jazzwise (UK)

gSince the mid-90s, pianist Satoko Fujii and trumpeter (and husband) Natsuki Tamura have released a series of albums that have been challenging and diversec All of these recordings have pointed to two musicians with solid command of their instruments and explorative musical naturesc And then there's Fujii's piano, which is the main reason to listen to a Satoko Fujii record.  Minerva features some of her most aggressive playing.  She's all over the piano with dense clusters and bold clashing dissonances. Her meditative solo introductionsc are rare moments of calm (and truly beautiful) in an otherwise wild and stormy journeycWith Minerva this group has found its voice.h \ Robert Iannapollo, Signal To Noise

 gSatoko Fujii made a powerful impression with her combination of classical training, improvising experiments, and remarkable empathy with her trumpeter husband Natsuki Tamura (when she came to Britain)c (On Minerva) therefs plenty of abrupt, slamming percussion, giving way to Fujiifs astonishing high-energy clusters, dark, baleful funk, hammering runs and minimalist ripples.  Tamurafs mournful whoops and sighs build into free-jazz scuttles and flurries, and some exquisite slow reveries from the leader that confirm how personally she extends the language of contemporary improvisation out of jazz roots.h  \ John Fordham, The Guardian (London)

gThis new quartet endeavor is amazingc Opening with Natsukifs eTatsu Take,f the quartet explodes right from the first note – tight, ferocious, complex Zappa or Ruins-like intricate stop-on-a-dime composing and playingc Satokofs Quartet at their best.h \ Downtown Music Gallery

gOne of the most exciting aspects of this collaboration, perhaps the source for its edge, is the presence and blending of these contrasting stylesc  The quartet is a surprisingly cohesive, yet unpredictable unitc unbridled energy and an infectious unpredictabilityc vibrant and furious.h \ Jay Collins, Cadence

gFujii's compositions are good and her piano playing beautiful, as alwaysc  it works.h \ Kurt Gottschalk, Squidsear

 gThere always has been someone who exudes the atmosphere of the time.  When I turned around and took a look at the world of jazz, I found a person who leads exactly that kind of existence: Satoko Fujii... Ever-changing structures and mazy developments of songs pull the listeners into the unknown space and they will find themselves surrounded by overwhelming masses of sound and totally flushed with excitement... It would be safe to say that this is the ultimate mixture-music created by the succession of sparks of improvisations.h \ Masayuki Baba, Musee

 gTheir performances are wild but seriousc The music lingers on in my mind like the repetition of aftershocks.h
 \ Masahiro Imai, Musen to Jikken

 gSatoko Fujii is one of those rare artists who feels comfortable with her music and the people supporting her.  Minerva is another in a series of great recordings guaranteed to take you on an unforgettable journey with many surprises along the way.h \ Randy McElligott, JazzReview.com

gTamura can triple tongue with a Lee Morgan-like vigor and spit out pistol-cracking notes with the best of them, while Fujii's high intensity, syncopated tremolos suggest a highly strung Bill Evans or Paul Bleyc Both CDs provide many more -- and newer -- reasons to follow closely anything the two create.h \ Ken Waxman, Jazz Weekly

gMinerva is a true surreal delight, an adventure in free jazz that will capture the listening audience with its colorful, intimate, and imaginative musings.  This is an incredibly brilliant collection from composer/pianist Satoko Fujii.h
 \ Lee Prosser, JazzReview.com

gTheirs is an impassioned approach to free jazz allied with certain rock sensibilities. It works.  Try it.h
\ Paul Donnelly, ejazznews.com

gHer discs are almost always a treat and this is another strong onech\ S.D. Feeney, Face Magazine
gAs the song develops and reaches to its climax, the listener would notice that the previous notes have been functioning as parts of the whole ensemble.  Thatfs why her songs can maintain the attention throughout the performances no matter how long they would last, and thatfs where I can find her compositional skills and brilliance of her concepts.h \ Akisada Anzai, Music Magazine

gSatoko Fujii is a fine percussive-yet-lyrical pianist out of the McCoy Tyner/Marilyn Cripsell/Don Pullen modec  Ms. Fujii's piano is on-the-money as usual: punchy, pretty, driving and economical.h \ Mark Keresman, JazzReview.com
 
gTatsuya Yoshida, ex of prog-punk band Ruins, attacks the drums with a beboppper's verve and a headbanger's killer instinct on this avant-garde jazz-rock CD. At times these musicians are like battling samurai, at others they're knife-wielding master chefs, making a sonic soufflé from seemingly lean ingredientsc you should check out how it all unfolds.h \ Will Romano, Modern Drummer

gVivid emotion and imagination.  The human touches of the performers are just wonderful.h \ Hiraku Aoki, Asahi Newspaper

gIn the compositions of Fujii I can feel a strong will which would parallel that of a marathon runner who strongly believes in his cardiopulmonary functions no matter how stale the air becomes... I was, again, totally fascinated by her devotion to the serious music by transcending the sense of fashion... 9 points out of 10.h \ Shiro Matsuo, Music Magazine

gFujiifs talent seems to lie more in the tough imagination that can expand elastically than in her vital performances.h \ Kazutomi Aoki, CD Journal

gFujiifs compositions are all interesting.  Her wildness is often mistakenly related to gfreeh music, but the world she creates is the result of the natural fermentation of her imagination.  She doesnft just follow the conventional manner.  People should realize the importance of her attitude...h \ Kazutomi Aoki, Jazz Life

Vulcan (2001)

2001 Best Album  \ Music Magazine

#4 in Swing Journalfs 2001 Japanese Jazz Awards

TOP 5 CDs of 2001. gVulcan expresses the zeitgeist of an as yet unhatched, extraordinary era.h \ Michael J. Williams, The American Reporter

gPianist Satoko Fujii releases Vulcan on Oct. 2c noteworthyh \ Steve Graybow, Billboard

gc An ethos of true progressiveness and an aversion to genre-speakc Fujiifs quartetc achieves a fierce leanness onstage.h \ Nate Chinen, Philadelphia City Paper

gVulcan, her quartetfs latest album, is a bombastic aural assault that is tuneful and refreshingc art jazz at its finest.h \ Steve Greenlee, Boston Globe

gc a bracing and surprisingly accessible clash of avant-garde jazz and rock.  Propelled by Yoshidafs artillery-barrage drumming, Fujiifs playing ranges from melodic to atmospheric and beyondch \ Kevin R. Convey, Boston Herald

gThe sensibility here is aggressive to the point of primitive, with a raw, larger-than-life recorded presence for the drums and bass. The otherworldly vocal wailing that introduces "The Sun in a Moonlight Night" is both a warning and an invitation to the intriguing asymmetrical structures and virtuoso playing on this set.h \ Bill Bennett, JazzTimes

gVulcan is choice work, a great showcase for the genius of jazz pianist Satoko Fujiic A masterpiece of jazz expression.h \ Lee Prosser, JazzReview.com

gA clash of avant-garde jazz and free rockc. Vulcan is hotter than anything Satoko Fujii recorded before, closer to her recordings with her orchestra than her trio sessions.  Strongly recommended for those who think they can handle it.h \ François Couture, All Music Guide

gFirst of all, I'd like to note that the live gig by the same personnel I saw last autumn was one of my three favorite performances of the year 2000c One can get a glimpse of unintentional integration between the freewheeling performances of the musicians and because of that there is an impression that they are surprisingly in harmony throughout.... All the musicians seem to share the same interpretation of  'harmony 'and 'chaos' and create a rich atmosphere by superbly striking the balance between them.  That's why this piece of work is so different from many other albums of free music and that's what enables the musicians to show an ideal style of the band of the future.  The album is filled with truly original sounds that belong to neither jazz nor rock.h \ Satoshi Kojima, Strange Days

gAnother incredible beginning for Fujiic Fujii is one of a handful of artists (Zorn, Black, Speed and Douglas) who would seem to have as many potential fans in the rock world as jazzc raw energy and inspirationc inspired creativityc.h \ Dominique Leone, Pitchforkmedia.com

gFujii is at her freakiest, though, with Vulcan, no doubt egged on by her zany trumpet-playing husband, Natsuki Tamura. Vulcan expresses the zeitgeist of an as yet unhatched extraordinary era.h \ Michael J. Williams, American Reporter

gWhooping big jazz music; Yoshidafs huge pounding and ferociously good technique keep the most eoutf bits anchored, and just as it all gets too much, Fujiifs arrangement gland kicks in, the band stops dead and the lightfs let in.h \ J. Colon, Straight No Chaser
gUncompromising, creative musicch \ Rick Helzer, Jazz Improv

 gItfs intellectual, itfs noisycand best of all, itfs func Adventurous and accessible.h \ John Barrett, JazzUSA.com

 gJapanese pianist Satoko Fujii is busy on both sides of the Pacific, putting her considerable piano chops and challenging compositions out there for fans of all-things abstract to hear.  Her quartet on Vulcan features Tatsuya Yoshida playing some huge sounding drums.h \ Ted Bonar, Modern Drummer

 gA beautiful marriage between prog-rock and freestyle jazz! I fell in love with Fujiifs wonderfully creative compositions many issues agocevery album shefs put out in the last couple of years goes in new directionsc This is a GREAT CD, amongst the best Ifve ever heard Fujii onc a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.h \ Dick Metcalf, Improvijazzation Nation

gHer unique perspective and style bring a refreshing complexity to Free Jazz. Itfs time to open your ears.h \ James Rodgers, Victory Review

gThis is the scariest record Ifve ever heard \ loud, disjointed, nutsc it all explodes into a riot of sound, at once unnerving, yet strangely hypnoticc This is great stuff.h \ Ed Symkus, The Boston Tab

 gFujii leads an all Japanese group with a much harder edge to it. In fact, both bassist Takeharu Hayakawa and drummer Tastuya Yoshihida are part of the avant-rock band Ruins, and their sensibilities are definitely front and center in this recording.h \ Marc Chénard, Coda

gVulcan is a fiery album whose music lives up to its namecFujii is clearly one of the most exciting musicians to come along in a while.h \ Robert Iannapollo, Cadence

gHer compositional range is astonishing; her playing has been compared to that of Cecil Taylor, Keith Jarrett, Don Pullen, Paul Bleych \ Jazz Plus

gAn all-Japanese quartet recording that brings a healthy dose of funk and noisec Her avant jam-band quartet just adds another facet to the challenging and refreshing sounds of this young pianist.h \ Mark Corroto, All About Jazz

gMost listeners will find there are few obvious, clear melodies at the startcbut thatfs good, very good, since all the unbound energy allows wondrously experimental forms to emerge out of the chaosc very, very powerful.h \ Moji Guide

"Right in the middle of an aggressive performance that seems to burn up everything around them, she changes the mood drastically.  Each member makes full use of his or her own talent and that results in creating many thrilling moments." \ Yoshiyuki Kitazato, Ombasha

gTheir performance is totally refreshing.  It is dynamic, too.  The basic picture of the performance is that the trumpet, the piano and the drums are rampaging about around the fat and earthy bass by Hayakawa, but it is very pleasant to the ears because the melodies created by Fujii are coherentca fantastic recording that carries the joy of performing.h Jun Numata, Studio Voice



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