Monday, October 12, 2009

Satoko Fujii & Tatsuya Yoshida - Erans

Uploaded by request, this challenging Tzadik album is a little difficult to categorize. Some of the labels I was tempted to give it included free jazz, modern jazz, improvisation, and noise, but none of these are quite right. What we really have here is a set of ultra-complex etudes for piano and drums, which often sound improvisational or "jazzy" but were really composed with extreme care and attention to detail. Performing these are two of the most adventurous and capable musicians to rise out of Japan's avant garde scene, pianist/composer Satoko Fujii and drummer Tatsuya Yoshida of Ruins fame. After one listen to Erans, one thing is clear: Fujii and Yoshida did a lot of rehearsing for this album. Their stop-on-a-dime changes in tempo, meter, and dynamics are timed with perfection, and they don't falter once in playing through the songs' baffling structures.

This album is not for the faint hearted. The songs are fiery, menacing, relentlessly energetic, generally atonal, and nearly impossible to swallow all at once. Multiple listens reveal many subtle intricacies in their form, harmony, emotional content, and so forth, but they never lose their visceral nature, or their ability to quickly exhaust the listener. Even if you never listen to it from start to finish, this is a must hear.

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3 comments:

Ochyming said...

Bless you for this gem.

Gabs said...

Thanks for sharing this beautiful work

Abelian said...

Thank you both. I also highly recommend the album Yawiquo by Sax Ruins - it's Tatsuya Yoshida paired with the saxophonist Ono Ryoko. Bonkers insanity.