Libra Records

An artist-owned record label founded in 1997 by pianist/composer Satoko Fujii and trumpeter/composer Natsuki Tamura. With 27 CDs so far, from solo, duo, trio and quartet to big band and orchestra formats, Libra is dedicated to the near limitless musical and creative vision of these two highly prolific and creative cutting-edge artists. CDs feature beautiful original artwork on environmentally friendly paper covers. Continue reading

Natsuki Tamura | Dragon Nat | Libra Records

Tamura is a real world citizen of music, as familiar in traditional jazz, European folk as Japanse traditional music, as well as avant-garde. He has the amazing capability of integrating all these influences without diminishing any of the ingredients, but rather enhancing them, and all this while creating his own voice and sound full of artistic authenticity.The closing tune on the album, “Matsuri”, says it all, taking the listener from the usual tender warmth over intense staccato moments to alarming pig squeals and back to normal. Beautiful! — Stef
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Kaze | Tornado | Libra Records

This music is evidence of the existence of entire jazz worlds that most listeners and even collectors might easily be unaware of. Satoko Fujii is obviously a master and a visit to her website reveals a rich catalog of recordings. That such music can be recorded is evidence that such worlds can be easily visited by wanders who fly about in their internet tardis. Tornado was released by Circum-Libra Records. You can also get solo recordings by Fujii (Gen Himmel) and Tamura (Dragon Mat) on Libra Records. I will review these in short order. I urge you to seek out and purchase these recordings. This is music worth investing money, time, and heart in. —Ken Blanchard Continue reading

Koh

Koh was born 1979 as Koh Otera in Tokyo, Japan. At the age of 4 she started taking piano lessons. In 1992 she began studying the piano under Fumiko Yoshida (associate professor of Kunitachi College of Music) and Grete Dichler (professor of University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Austria), and from 1998 onward Koh began performing in public. Koh gratuated in 2002 from Kunitachi College of Music, and participated at various music festivals, and in 2004 she played together with Satoko Fujii and invited Ted Reichman to record in New York. Continue reading

Koh | Natsuki Tamura | Masahiro Uemura | Nankoh Kumon | Do-Chū | Koya Records

KOH (Koh Otera) began her musical career with the help of composer and pianist Satoko Fujii, who produced and played on the Japanese vocalist, pianist and composer’s spare and promising debut, Yamabuki (Libra, 2005). A unique vocalist and pianist, with a rare sensitivity to poetic texts that are the basis for her playful compositions, KOH proves—six years later, with two completely different releases—why Fujii trusted her talent. On both sets she collaborates with drummer Masahiro Uemura, known for his association with sound sculptor Otomo Yoshihide’s outfits and the Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra. — Eyal Hareuveni Continue reading

Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York | Summer Suite | Libra Records

I love Satoko’s strong charts and engaging harmonies for all of the reeds and brass with inspired solos from the tenor sax and trombone, but it is the strong ensemble sections that really stand out… Her great New York Orchestra has not played in New York for quite a while, we can only hope they have an opportunity to do so in the not too distant future. In the meantime, you can get this treasure and their many layers of talent. — Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery Continue reading

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