Album Review

Kihlstedt, Carla / Fujii, Satoko – “Minamo ” – [Henceforth]

Thurston Hunger   10/21/2008   A Library, CD

2007 release on Bonnie Wright’s fine Henceforth label, with
two live rendezvous renderings from violinista Carla Kihlstedt
and Satoko Fujii on piano. Their talents are wide-ranging as
witnessed in Fujii’s fantastic big band work and experimental
energy sounds with her husband-trumpeter and sometimes with
Tatsuya Yosiha from Ruins, Kihlstedt’s Two Foot Yard, and
charter membership with the Tin Hat Trio and Sleepytime
Gorilla Museum speak and spike volumes. Here the two start
off with some simple ground, a pumping number with a detective
slant. The second piece is elaborate and romantic, octave
upper limits sketch a skyline, and Kihlstedt laces some
superbly thin lines of light bouncing off the mirrors. Fujii
has some lower 88 rumbling too on this. The third is a short
blast of (Billy) Bang-like shoeless, soulful playing. Those
three were from a 2002 ROVA anniversary party, the last piece
from 2005 in Austria. Subzero harmonics of violin skating and
piano icicle droplets, even when the tempo accelerates,
there are a lot of rests to retain the glacier’s edge on
this one. A pretty melody around 4 minutes to go, leads to a
transformation to a proud powerful coda led by Fujii but that
then succumbs to a scrapy blizzard and silence. As attested by
their publishing insignias these are two ladies who cherish
communication and ceremony. These four improvisations are full
of each…

-Thurston Hunger

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