The prolific Japanese jazz pianist Satoko Fujii pops up yet again on another new release, this time with the quartet Kaze and CD titled Rafale. The combo is comprised of Fujii on piano, husband & trumpet ace Natsuki Tamura, Christian Pruvost on trumpet, and drummer Peter Orins. Rafale is a recording of a live concert from Poland in 2010, and the quartet fuse jazz, avant-garde, and classical to fine effect.
Due to the often disjointed and noisy elements found throughout this CD, Rafale certainly won't be for everyone, but, to all adventurous listeners who appreciate the avant-garde side of jazz, there's lots to like here. "Noise Chopin" is just that, a noisy, bombastic mixture of wild jazz & classical, complete with dissonant piano from Fujii, bleating trumpets, and crashing drums. "Anagramme" is pure trumpet chaos until tinkling piano and cymbals come into the mix, and "The Thaw" allows Orins to show his skills on the drum kit for the first 2 minutes of the piece before Fujii enters with some majestic piano melodies and an eventual cavalcade of trumpet blasts. Old school jazz fans who love a classic sounding piano piece will totally dig "Marie-T", and the two final epics on the CD, "Polly" and "Blast", are pure chaos, both a molten miasma of free-jazz and avant-garde mayhem that will either have you running to the hills covering your ears or mesmerized by the sheer adventurous nature of it all. At times all four players are seemingly going off in different directions, but in the end everyone converges and brings this to a climax that actually sort of makes sense.
The members of Kaze are surely talented musicians, and there's some wild playing on Rafale for sure, but it's a safe bet to say that unless you like dissonant, free-jazz/avant-garde styled music, you might find much of what you hear on this CD somewhat frightening and noisy. If this type of jazz however is your thing, then be prepared for some dazzling sounds.
1) Noise Chopin
3) The Thaw