Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii has been one of the most active jazz musicians over the last decade, performing in a wide assortment of small combos as well as numerous international big bands around the globe. Eto is the newest release of her large scale band from New York, and features 17 exciting tracks of sizzling avant-garde styled jazz that includes 15 musicians on such instruments as piano, sax, trumpet, trombone, bass, and drums.
After the opening 9 minute jazz workout "The North Wind and the Sun", which could have easily come off of one of Frank Zappa's early 70's big band fusion releases, the group launches into the mammoth "Eto Suite", which is comprised of 14 tracks, and takes up much of the album. From gentle jazz, to moments of bizarre avant-garde, as well as frightening free-jazz, this piece has it all, with sax, trumpet, trombone, and piano lines flying about the mix, sometimes at random, and others quite melodic and tranquil. One of the most exciting pieces here, which comes at the back end of the CD, is the roaring "Pressure Cooker", an upbeat monster of dramatic jazz, with soaring sax & horn melodies, crashing drums, and loads of sizzle. Closing out with the stunning "Stroll" ends Eto on a high note, as the tune kicks off with bombast then slowly fades out with sultry sax and horn crescendos to wrap things up in classy fashion.
The Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York really brought their 'A' game here on Eto, and it's great that Fujii let the entire band strut their stuff here and put in a great ensemble performance. Good stuff indeed.
- The North Wind And The Sun;
- Eto Suite: Overture;
- Pressure Cooker;