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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Natsuki Tamura, Satoko Fujii

Keshin

Review by Gary Hill

This is an unusual release. It's under progressive rock at MSJ because of it's experimental nature. Much of this is rooted in jazz, but it's not mainstream jazz by any means. The only instruments here are piano (Satoko Fujii) and trumpet (Natsuki Tamura). This instrumental music is unique and intriguing.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Busy Day
Piano starts this in a short riff. The trumpet answers that call with its response. This pattern holds the piece for a while until the track works forward with both instruments playing along with one another in a pretty crazed jazz jam. There is a seriously crazed piano solo later on the track. The trumpet takes command further down the road, and both instruments again come together as the craziness and chaos continue to evolve.
Donten
The trumpet creates some killer melodic jazz as this gets underway. After a time piano comes into play. Each instrument leads the way at points. At other times both are in play at once. This is a rather chaotic and crazed piece of music at points, but it also has mellower, slower, melodic segments. At over 11-minutes of music, it's the epic of the set.
Dreamer
This a study in contrasts. On the one hand this does have some of the most melodic and effective music of the set. There is also some real aural insanity and chaos, too. It's an intriguing number that works well in part because of the craziness.
Three Scenes
The first couple minutes of this are made up of weird sounds that feel like something from a strange science fiction movie. Eventually piano joins and paints nearly equally weird pictures. There is a real sense of unease and otherworldly existence to the number. Yet it also gets into more pure, but freeform, jazz zones further down the musical road. At almost 11-minutes, this is another epic piece.
Keshin
While much of this isn't far removed from the music that preceded it, there is a section with sporadic bursts of piano as the only sound. That gives way, though, to a less tentative, but no less crazed piano part before we're into a full arrangement.
Drop
This is more crazed fusion stuff. It's chaotic, but also melodic. It's dramatic and unusual. There is some particularly effective piano work on this piece.
Sparrow Dance
While not a big change, there are some killer moments along this strange ride.

 

 
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