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N THE NEWS


SATOKO FUJII TOBIRA



Yamiyo Ni Karasu (2015)

Best of 2015: Honorable Mention – The New York City Jazz Record

“She may have released more than 70 albums over the past 20 years, but Satoko Fujii still brims with originality and energy.  Yamiyo Ni Karasu rises to the top tier of her sprawling discography.” – Steve Greenlee, JazzTimes

“The pianist-composer Satoko Fujii recently formed a quartet called Tobira (it translates to “door” in English, with full metaphorical intention) and released an insistent, restive album, ’Yamiyo Ni Karasu.’”  – Nate Chinen, The New York Times
 
“5 stars. If it were possible to give ten stars to Yamiyo Ni Karasu, it would deserve every single one for its power, inventiveness and the sheer ecstasy of creation in the moment.” – Budd Kopman, All About Jazz

“Satoko Fujii is not simply one of the most prolific performing and recording artists today….  She is also a composer, and even greater performer… her music gleams with unsettling beauty.” – Raul da Gama, JazzdaGama

 “When is comes to Yamiyo Ni Karasu, which translates to “the crow in the dark night”, we get to hear Tobira truly come into their own…. Before long the quartet has lunged into Bad Plus territory where Fujii’s minor-key piano figures, drunk on octaves with easy up-and-down motion, pack enough of a punch alongside the drummer and bassist to make Ethan Iverson and company feel a tad bit nervous…. the first 13 minutes of Yamiyo Ni Karasu are stuffed with enough highs and lows to last an entire album.” – John Garrett, Pop Matters
 
“There are pulse-pounding rhythms, vibrant tones and dark chords woven together into a multi-shaded tapestry of sound…What an absolute pleasure to listen to Satoko Fujii.” – Travis Rogers Jr., The Jazz Owl

“Satoko’s music is full of unexpected and quicksilver transitions and psychologically astute mood swings.” – Tim Owen, Dalston Sound

 “After hearing the massive sounds emanating from pianist Fujii’s latest, it’s difficult to believe that her Tobira consists of just four musicians.” – Dave Summer, Bird is the Worm

“4.5 stars. Satoko Fujii Tobira is yet another compelling band from the pianist, one that, with Yamiyo Ni Karasu, presents her dynamic artistic vision with a hard-charging grace, with joyful elan.” – Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

“In classic Fujii fashion, there is always something lurking around the corner in her scores, and it can be disruptive, soothing and even humorous. As Fujii herself quickly concedes, it’s that last element that Tamura excels at bringing out, That’s important, because although this is a serious ensemble playing serious compositions, they don’t take themselves too seriously and that makes it easier to enjoy. The playfulness is evident from the opening notes...” – S. Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews

 “On the contemplative and stormy Yamiyo Ni Karasu Fujii showcases her unique pianism that encompasses her instrument’s entire harmonic range.  Her expressive improvisations consist of percussive chords and harp-like strumming of the piano’s innards…. This elegant disc amply demonstrates that she is as skilled an instrumentalist as she is a composer.” – Hrayr Attarian, All About Jazz

“The often under-appreciated yet ever-inventive trumpeter, Natsuki Tamura, starts this disc off with some sizzling radiator smears/sounds… Ms. Fujii brought a good deal of strong material to this session and she has the perfect quartet to bring this music alive!” – Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

 “Solid art jazz for art people.” – Chris Spector, Midwest Record


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