Tuesday, March 6, 2012


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Otherwise, there'd be a cute lil' streaming audio player on the left, rather than this message.

(self-released?, 1992)

Leo Records is a pretty cool jazz label. If I find something on Leo in a bargain bin, chances are highly likely that I will snap it up post-haste. Coincidentally, or maybe not, my two favorite jazz pianists outside of Cecil Taylor (they're much too big to fit inside) are Sakis Papadimitriou, whom I've featured before, and Satoko Fujii. Both I first heard as a result of finding CDs on Leo's sublabel Leo Lab in bargain bins.

The Satoko Fujii Orchestra CD South Wind turned up in the local store I've mentioned before where Japanese CDs used to appear on a regular basis. OK, sure, Leo Records is a UK label, but Ms. Fujii is Japanese. So there! There are actually four Satoko Fujii Orchestras. South Wind is by what later became known as the Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York. She also has orchestras based in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Kobe (ordered here by number of releases).

Ms. Fujii, along with her trumpeter husband Natsuki Tamura, have collectively released a huge number of excellent CDs starting with 1996's Something about Water, a collaboration between Satoko and legendary pianist Paul Bley. As of today, there are 27 CDs on their own label, Libra Records, plus scads of other CDs on scads of other labels; every time I manage to catch up with them, they'll release another four or so at once.

This is all a bit beside the point, however. Four years before Something about Water was released, there was an album by a group named 飛不動. The compositions are all by Natsuki, and he and Satoko are joined by 金井敬一 on bass and 見世秀麿 on drums. I managed to score a copy from Downtown Music Gallery in Manhattan a few years ago. They still have it listed, and I think it's pretty great. Today's jukebox selection is the first track.

NOTA BENE: 飛不動 is a flying deity in Japanese legend. I just found that out now, while writing this.


  • 飛不動 = Tobifudo
  • かげ = Kage = Shadow
  • 金井敬一 = Keiichi Kanai
  • 見世秀麿 = Hidemaro Mise

No biased opinions . . . yet