Sachi Hayasaka – soprano & alto saxophone | Kunihiro Izumi – alto saxophone | Kenichi Matsumoto – tenor saxophone | Masaya Kimura – tenor saxophone | Ryuichi Yoshida – baritone saxophone | Natsuki Tamura – trumpet | Takao Watanabe – trumpet | Yoshihito Fukumoto – trumpet | Yusaku Shirotani – trumpet | Haguregumo Nagamatsu – trombone | Tetsuya Higashi – trombone | Satoko Fujii – piano | Toshiki Nagata – bass | Akira Horikoshi – drums
Recorded on June 21, 2005 by Shunichiro Kogai and Kimio Oikawa at Pit Inn Shinjuku, Tokyo assisted by SCI. Mastered on March 24, 2006 by Scott Hull at Scott Hull Mastering, Ny. Executive producer: Natsuki Tamura. Design: Masako Tanaka.
DVD | Cameras: Masayuki Yonaha, Tetsuya Shiota, Nagaru Miyake, Masafumi Morita, Yuu Shinozaki, Shingo Ohuchi. Equipment and material cooperation: Panasonic DU. Editing DVD authoring: Masayuki Yanaha
Tracklist CD: 1. Scramble [10:17] 2. Water [8:55] 3. An Unpaved Road [9:12] 4. A Brick House [7:14] 5. A Submarine Volcano [17:11] 6. Fue Taiko [10:18] 7. Bennie’s Waltz [9:31]
Satoko Fujii | Photo by Stefan Postius
Yusaku Shirotani – trumpet
Born and grew up in Nagasaki. Studied with Hitoshi Kumagai at Kunitachi Musical College. Performs with his own group, and also “Ginza Brass,” “Kosei Uchida Quartet,” “Aoi Kato Funky Brass,” “Bison-Katayama Band,” “Katsumi Watanabe Session,” ‘T.P.O.” and “Soy Soul.”
Haguregumo Nagamatsu – trombone
Born in ’56 in Saga. Under his father’s influence, grew up listening to Jazz. Started playing trombone in first grade of Junior High, and started playing in Jazz Orchestra while a freshman in High School. Performs in Jazz clubs including Pit Inn. Also does studio and stage works. Leads his own Funk Orchestra’T.P.O.”
Tetsuya Higashi – trombone
Born in ’71 in Hokkaido. Started playing trombone at the age of eleven and started performing around Sapporo in his college days. In ’97 played with Yoshihide Otomo for his “Mirra ni narumade” in NMA Festival. Moved to Tokyo in ’98 and performed with Taku Sugimoto and Toshimaru Nakamura at Bar Aoyama.
Yasuyuki Takahashi – trombone
Loves parties, but hates being hung over. Started musical career as DJ after graduation from High school. Studied trombone with Shunji Sato. Studied at Berklee from ’99. Moved back to Japan in 2003 and formed his own group, “okhp.” Performs with the Satoko Fujii Orchestra, the Katsuyuki Itakura Unit, and others.
Satoko Fujii – piano, composition
Studied classical piano with Koji Taku, composition with Hiroaki Minami, and Jazz piano with Fumio Itabashi. Studied at Berklee and New England Conservatory, with Paul Bley, Jimmy Giuffre, George Russell, Joe Maneri, and Charlie Banacos. Performed in Japan, America, and Europe with many units. Released 29 CDs from American, Japanese, and European labels with her own units from ’96, and many more CDs as a sideman as well. Nominated for the Jazz Journalist Association’s composer award, won the 2001 Down Beat Critics Poll as a ‘Talent Deserving Wider Recognition,” and ranked 8th in the 20055 Down Beat Critics Poll as a Rising Star Arranger.
Toshiki Nagata – bass
Born in ’59 in Tokyo. After graduating from the law school of Rikkyo University, studied classical bass with Keizo Mizoiri and Jazz bass with Gary Peacock and others. Started his proffessional career as a bass player and also as a composer. Performs with his own group, “NBAGF (with Eichi Hayashi-as and Natsuki Kido-g), “Hayasaka Sachi & Stir Up!,11 “Black Out,” “Satoko Fujii Orchestra,” “Minga,” “OsAmarelos”(Tomohiro Yahiro’s Brazillian project), and “Jazzninho” which is a collaboration with the hiphop group “Think Tank.” Contributes compositions as well.
Akira Horikoshi – drums & percussion
Born in ’65, in Tokyo. Loves Japanese traditional music under his father’s (a Japanese traditional dancer) influence. Thinks of playing as an inevitabe body performance. Has several projects whose them is an attempt to express an asian and also spatial direction incorporates World and Japanese traditional music. Leads ‘Toho ibun” (with SatsumaBiwa, Shakuhachi, and Noh flute) , “SOLO-ist” (directing space with surrounding percussions and using a mobile), “The WILL” (unlimited orchestra by three musicians)-CD “Infinity Orchestra.” Performed with Yosuke Yamashita, Takio Ito, Mari Natsuki, Hiro Tategata, and ROVA Saxophone Quartet.
Sachi Hayasaka – soprano and alto sax, recorder, percussion
Made a debut with her own unit, “Stir Up!” in ’85 at Pit Inn. Performed and recorded with many units after then. Formed her own group, “Minga” (2002) , and its CD “Minga” has been released from Tzadik in the whole world, and got high praises in America and in Europe about her wide musical sense and unbound composition. Released her own CD “Beat Beat Jazz Beat” with Pheeroan Aklaff and Wagane Ndiaye Rose. Got the 20th anniversary of her own annual concert, “226 Birthday Concert” in 2006.
Kunihiro Izumi – alto saxophone
Born in ’67 in Toyama, grew up in Ibaraki. Started playing sax in study group of Modern Jazz at Waseda University. Released “Shibusai,” “Shibuboshi,” “Shibuhata,” and 5 other CDs with Shibusa Shirazu, and also with “Zenryoku Onanies,” “Taiyo-Komon Spapern,” “Satoko Fujii Orchestra,” “Ayako Sasaki,” “Daisuke Fuwa,” “Yasuhiko Tachibana.” Has also released his own CDs “Sunrise in my head,” “Djembe Flowers,” IMO’s “Merginal,” “Tengoku eno Skip,” “Baka ga Gyusha de yattekuru,” and “Otonosachi.”
Kenichi Matsumoto – tenor saxophone
Born on ’64 in Nagasaki. Started performing at Jazz clubs like Pit Inn while in his early twenties. Studied with Koichi Matsukaze. Plays with his own unit, “Power Trio”(Tsunoken-drs, Shinobu Kawai-b), and as a sideman with “Satoko Fujii Orchestra,” “Original Love,” ‘Tokyo Chuteiiki,” “nino trinca,” ‘Tetsuya Takahashi,” and “world’s end girlfriend.” Produces live event “Shibuya Jidai” at the Koendori Classics and Improvisation Workshop”Shin Sokkyo no Hi” at Iriya Knuttel House.
Masaya Kimura – tenor saxophone
Bora in ’67 hi Sapporo. Started playing piano and flute in Junior High, and sax with a brass band in High School. From ’90, started improvising in sax solo format. From ’95 performed with “Fake Sweet” and “Kangaroo Note.” In 2000 moved to Tokyo. Performs with “Kenichi Matsumoto SXQ,” “ailien’s social dance party,” “Hideto Kanai Unit,” and “Harineko.” Released several CDs as a leader fake sweet’s “sexy music,” kangaroo note’s “socore off,” and “soundness” and appears as a sideman on, Morikawa Seiichiro’s “Utsusemi,” Empty Black Box’s”100nen tattemo,” and Merry’s “Modern Garde.”
Ryuichi Yoshida – baritone sax
Born in ’71. Performs with “Fumio Itabashi MIX DYNAMITE,” “missing link,” “SXQ,” and his own groups “tea-pool,” “black-sheep,””Nekoman.” Released as a leader “phone-phone” (SINM-001) and “tea-pool” (SINM-002) from sincerely music.
Natsuki Tamura – trumpet
Born and grew up in Shiga. Made his professional debut at age 18 at negligee salon in Kyoto. Performed in many Cabaret, for TV, as a studio player, top-forty bands, etc. and in the New Herd Orchestra. Studied at Berklee and New England Conservatory. Performed in Japan, North America, and Europe with his own unit, Satoko Fujii, Fumio Itabashi, and Hideto Kanai. Released ten CDs as a leader and many others as a sideman.
Yoshihito Fukumoto – trumpet
Born in ’61. Started to perform professionally while a student at Osaka Gakuin University. Moved to Tokyo, and participated in ORQUESTA DE LA LUZ from its formation. Performed in America, Europe, Central and South America, and over 60 countries. Got the United Nations Peace Medal in 93. Nominated Grammy award in 95. Released three CDs with his own unit “Latin Yaro.” Hopes to expand own musical world by playing in this orchestra.
Takao Watanabe – trumpet
Born in ’67 in Chiba. Dropped out of Hokkaido University. Performs with his own units, “pikaia,” “pikaia pandeiro special,” and “missing link” and as well as with Eiichi Hayashi 5, Koshi Yamada doronuma gakudan, Kiyoshiro Imawano, Aketa Orchestra, and many other sessions. Has deep knowledge of African and Brazilian rhythm. Rare trumpet player who enjoys freedom of musical styles and all-inclusive jazz-rock-world music-free situations, and pursue his own vision with both trumpet playing and band sound.
The marvelously complex yet singular voice that is invoked by the Satoko Fujii Orchestra Tokyo was very satisfying. ― Yoh Nakagawa, Mainichi Newspaper
Live!! is pure candy, a treat in every aspect. This album offers a riveting 70-minute set, both as an audio CD and a video DVD… Highlights abound… Each of the seven tracks features two lead players or soloists, so that at the end of the album all 14 members of the orchestra had their moment in the spotlight. Fans of Fujii’s highly personal, lyrical yet high-energy composition style will be in seventh heaven. Highly recommended and a 2006 must-have. ― François Couture, All Music Guide
The best record of the bunch is Live!! Everything comes together perfectly and the sense is of a band that has really learnt these compositions and grasped what’s expected. The version of “Bennie’s Waltz” is superb but “Water,” “A Brick House” and “A Submarine Volcano” are even finer. You also get a DVD of the performance which I guess makes it the best buy, too. ― Duncan Heining, Jazzwise
The 2005 concert at Tokyo’s Pit Inn brings seven of Satoko Fujii’s extended compositions in the open in living color and with open ears… Fujii’s creative music leaves plenty of room for spontaneity from each soloist, yet her compositions each include a theme that honors its specific message… Teamwork remains a big factor in Fujii’s Orchestra Tokyo, as the soloists converse musically with a natural empathy. This highly recommended live performance is one that we can remember well for eternity, for both its dramatic group intensity and the superb soloing of Fujii’s band members. ― Jim Santella, All About Jazz
Fujii is never trapped in cozy relationships with the musicians but makes use of their strong and naughty personalities and creates daring music without collapse, or rather, an ideal piece of work. ― Shiro Matsuo, Music Magazine
…The music bursts with an almost tangible passion. ― Neil Tesser, Listen Here!
Skilled musicians with keen ears are blending their sounds, kittling each other, creating tight and sharp sound, weaving beautiful and strange melodies one after another. There is no need for rationalization and you can just indulge in the joy of coloring the map of this world of music. ― Manabu Yuasa, Studio Voice
Tough guys are stretching their wings in the flexible but spot-on framework that was prepared by Fujii.
― Eisuke Sato, CD Journal
Fujii has given them (the players) some of her most nasty charts, for thick layered horns, ominous textured shifts, and polymetric funk. The disk has a very distinctly brash character… A bonus: this corker also comes with a DVD. ― Jason Bivins, Cadence
Avant-big band rarely works – it’s just awfully tough to keep all the freedom from canceling each other out – but Fujii is remarkably adept at keeping her hordes together. ― Tom Hull, On the Web
CD plus DVD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)