Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura (JAPAN) with MFO
Critics and fans alike hail pianist and composer SATOKO FUJII as one of the most original voices in jazz today. A truly global artist, she tours internationally leading several ensembles based in Japan, Europe, and the United States. Just as her career spans international borders, her music spans many genres, blending jazz, contemporary classical, rock, and traditional Japanese music into an innovative synthesis instantly recognisable as hers alone. Her wide-ranging compositions can incorporate the simple melodies of folk song, the harmonic sophistication of jazz, the rhythmic power of rock, and the extended forms of symphonic composers. Although Fujii’s compositions are full of sudden shifts in direction and mood, the extremes are always part of a greater conceptual whole.
The 2015 El Intruso International Critics Poll recogniSed her as one of the composers of the year and in 2016 she was named a Rising Star Composer in the 64th Annual DownBeat International Critics Poll. As an improviser, Fujii is equally wide-ranging and virtuosic. In her solos, explosive free jazz energy mingles with delicate melodicism and a broad palette of timbre and textures.
Satoko Fujii will be premiering a new suite called "Fukushima" – composed in the memory of the people of 2011 Japan earthquake.
"She is the Ellington of free jazz."- Bob Rusch, Cadence
“Unpredictable, wildly creative, and uncompromising…Fujii is an absolutely essential listen for anyone interested in the future of jazz." - Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz
A force to be reckoned with, Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura are internationally recognized artists. As an improviser, Fujii is equally wide-ranging and virtuosic. In her solos, explosive free jazz energy mingles with delicate melodicism and a broad palette of timbre and textures. Fujii has been an innovative bandleader and soloist, a tireless seeker of new sounds, and a prolific recording artist in ensembles ranging from duos to big bands. She has showcased her astonishing range and ability on more than 80 CDs as leader or co-leader. With each recording or new band, she explores new aspects of her art.
Japanese trumpeter and composer NATSUKI TAMURA is internationally recognized for a unique musical vocabulary that blends extended techniques with jazz lyricism. This unpredictable virtuoso’s seemingly limitless creativity led François Couture in All Music Guide to declare that “… we can officially say there are two Natsuki Tamuras: The one playing angular jazz-rock or ferocious free improv… and the one writing simple melodies of stunning beauty… How the two of them live in the same body and breathe through the same trumpet might remain a mystery.”
“You’ll never fit trumpeter Natsuki Tamura into any pre-fab category,” wrote Dan McClenaghan in All About Jazz.
“He creates his own, then pulls you into them with him.” It is this category-defying ability that makes him, as Marc Chenard said in Coda, “unquestionably one of the most adventurous trumpet players on the scene today.”
They team up with The Mace Francis Orchestra (MFO) who are known for their experimental compositions in the style of the great modern big bands lead by Bob Brookmeyer, Thad Jones, Bill Holman and Maria Schneider. The result has been the coming together of 14 of Perth’s finest musician’s and composers to create exciting new music for big band.
The Mace Francis Orchestra (MFO) was formed late in 2005 by band-leader and composer Mace Francis to experiment with composition, in the style of the great modern big bands lead by Bob Brookmeyer, Thad Jones, Bill Holman and Maria Schneider. The result has been the coming together of 14 of Perth’s finest musician’s and composers to create exciting new music for big band.
Over the last 8 years MFO has recorded 5 CDs, toured nationally four times and performed with international jazz artists, Jim Pugh (USA), Jon Gordon (NY), John Hollenbeck (Berlin), Theo Bleckmann (NY), Ed Partyka (GER) and Satoko Fujii (JAP).
With swirling saxophones, big brass and a driving rhythm section their performances are filled with energy, humour and sophistication. A little big band that punches above it weight.
“These layered compositions and scoring convey colour, atmosphere and movement far more effectively and with greater interest than the stock standard arrangements often heard from big bands. Francis, understandably, has attracted international interest with his outstanding orchestra and compelling compositions.” John McBeath – The Weekend Australian Newspaper
SATOKO FUJII and NATSUKI TAMURA with MFO comprises:
- Satoko Fujii - piano
- Natsuki Tamura - trumpet
- Saxophones: Ben Collins, Dan Hart, Brett Smith, Sean Little, Mark Sprogowski
- Trumpet: Ricki Malet, Matt Smith, Matthew McGlynn
- Trombone: Blake Phillips, Catherine Noblet, Rob Coleman
- Guitar: Harry Winton
- Bass: Wayne Slater
- Drums: Greg Brenton
- Conductor: Mace Francis