Virtuoso piano player and improviser Satoko Fujii can now add CD producer to her already impressive curriculum vitae. Joining her on this release, and making up her big band, are husband ( and accomplished trumpeter ) Natsuki Tamura, as well as 14 of the best jazz improvisers hailing from the Land Of The Rising Sun.
Before The Dawn is a highly impressive exploration of avant jazz, mixed in with some dynamite moments of unbridled free 'noodling' ; which is held together by some modal lines courtesy of her big band. Spanning 5 epic tracks ranging in length from 7:32 to 19:59, the Sakoto Fujii Orchestra--East masterfully blends many elements of contemporary jazz into one cohesive and strong musical statement. Contrasting dark, brooding, tension-filled moments with sections of highly inspired solos Sakoto Fujii Orchestra--East redefines the boundaries of big band. Once the domain of swing, this line-up and disc fully demonstrate how an all-star cast of free players can mesh coherently into an exciting ensemble where every member is given a moment in the limelight. Recommended.