Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York | Eto | Libra Records

My husband, Natsuki Tamura will turn sixty years old this year. In Japan we have a special celebration for sixty years olds, called “Kanreki.” We use the Chinese zodiac in Japan which is called “Eto,” so 12 years is one cycle. 60 is a special number because it is 12 x 5 and 10 x 6. The duodecimal system and decimal system meet at 60. I wanted write some music for this, and read a bit about the Chinese zodiac. Each of the 12 animals in the zodiac has its own character and each character inspired me a lot, so I wrote a short piece for each of them to make one long suite. Each piece has featured solo player. — Satoko Fujii Continue reading

The Wall-London Band | Birth & Rebirth | Not Two Records

Greg Wall and Frank London have been making music together for close to twenty years, since their student days at the New England Conservatory of Music. Their collective experiences, taking them throughout North America and Europe, run the gamut of many diverse and exciting projects -Jazz; Old and New; Blues; Ethnic and World Music; Performance Art and Avant / New Music Wall and London’s new recording, “Birth / Rebirth” is a celebration of the individual creative spirit, while simultaneously embracing the rich tradition of the American Jazz Band. The nine compositions on the album, all composed by Wall and London, represent a distinct voice in interpreting the Jazz legacy. Continue reading

Hasidic New Wave | Live In Cracow | Not Two Records

As part of the Jewish Culture Festival Cracow hosted an exceptional group from the US – The Hasidic NewWave. The concert of the quintet, which fuses jazz and funk with elements of Jewish and Arabic music, was truly a special event.Co-leaders trumpeter Frank London and saxophonist Greg Wall, guitarist David ,,Fuze” Fiuczynski, bassist Fima Ephron, and drummer Aaron Alexander displayed not only inventiveness, finesse, and unbelievable technique, but created what could only be called a musical spectacle. They were able to draw the audience into the music as virtually active participants, creating a sort of collective celebration of it in spite of the fact that what they played is by no means ..accessible” music. With their Cracow appearance, The Hasidic New Wave fully confirmed the qualities displayed on their CD ,,The Jews and the Abstract Truth”. Wall played incredibly; his improvisations, though rather far out, were well–constructed and convincing. His playing bore not a trace of calculated-ness, just honest, expressive, and highly personal creativity. London displayed equal sound-sculpting prowess, invention and enthusiasm while also connecting with the audience well. The rhythm section also deserves high praise: Fiuczynski amazed listeners with his Frank Zappa-esque guitar stylings, showing great musicality, sound, and feel; Ephron not only accompanied well, but tastefully integrated a variety of electronic effects into the music; Alexander played in a relaxed but at the same time extremely precise manner, with a perfect command of dynamics. His drums had a unique, soft, subtle, and warm sound. The audience had a great time, the atmosphere in the room more reminiscent of that at a regular dance-band gig that an avant-garde jazz concert. Lack of space was the only reason people didn’t start to dance. — Robert Buczek (Jazz Forum) translated by Kami White Continue reading