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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Satoko Fujii

Hazuki: Piano Solo

Review by Gary Hill

As you probably already figured out, this is an album exclusively featuring piano. Satoko Fujii doesn't always play it in the traditional manner, though, experimenting with different ways of making sound with the instrument. This is a dynamic set. It perhaps doesn't really fit under progressive rock, but the experimental nature of it, makes it work there. While there are tracks that work better than others, everything here is compelling.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Invisible
Strange sounds bring this cut out of silence. More traditional piano gradually rises up, bringing a mysterious and enchanting beauty with it. There are still disquieting moments of strange instrumental texture and effects like sound. Eventually the more traditional piano work takes control. It also explores some more bombastic and powerful classical zones as it does.
Quarantined
More crazed and seemingly freeform, this has some particularly dramatic moments. It is noisy in a classical way.
Cluster
There is a lot of drama and almost a sense of danger to this moving piano solo. It has some jarring parts, but also some interesting melodies. There is a definite movie soundtrack edge to it.
Hoffen
This piano exploration is quite an interesting one. There are some really dramatic moments and melodies built into it. It's still freeform in some ways, but has more of a full melodic approach. There is a lot of classical music in the mix here.
Beginning
Fast paced, and almost playful, this is one of my favorites here. It really works well.
Ernesto
There are some intriguing textures and sounds built into this number. The cut has plenty of strangeness, but also a lot of magic.
Expanding
With a bit of a start and stop vibe, this is crazed stuff. It's very freeform and unusual.
Twenty Four Degrees
This comes in mellower and more sedate. It is intriguing, melodic and yet experimental.
 
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