Skip to main content

Jazz/Improv - Yuko Fujiyama: Night Wave (Innova Recordings - March 23, 2018)

Jazz/Improv
Yuko Fujiyama: Night Wave
(Innova Recordings - March 23, 2018)


Buy the CD

“Recently, I’ve been trying to be free from a feeling of linear time. This album, Night Wave, is the result of my long search.” The words come from Yuko Fujiyama, jazz pianist and composer. She largely succeeds in her quest in a release that sparkles with an intense sense of creative freedom. The CD includes 15 tracks, the shortest a mere minute in lenghth.

Woven Colours, for solo piano, is kinetic and dynamic, with a dramatic sense of urgency that propels the music. Along with composing all the tracks on the release, Yuko Fujiyama is a talented pianist who brings a fluid sense of expression to all the pieces. Up Tempo adds Susie Ibarra on drums and percussion, Graham Haynes on cornet and flugelhorn, and Jennifer Choi on violin for an explosive piece driven by the clash of cymbals.

In to the liner notes, Fujiyama describes her pieces with a sense of story and emotion, and there is certainly a kind of whirlwind momentum to each of the eight tracks. Premonition, for piano and drums, is darker and moody, inspired by fear. There's a playful sensibility that emerges in some of the tracks. Fireworks is a standout track, an aural recreation of the flash and colour of the real thing.

In Beyond the Sound, she explores the question, where does sound disappear to? The tones or piano, cornet, and xylophone open up the space, and then resonate into silence. It's both effective and surprising. Starlight, for solo piano, is another highlight, infused with a shimmering beauty that evokes the pure light of celestial objects.

In her bio, Yuko says it was hearing a recording of American pianist and composer Cecil Taylor that led to a realization of the true power of the piano. Taylor was also a classically trained pianist who turned to free jazz, becoming one of its pioneers. Like Taylor, Fujiyama's playing is percussive and innovative.

The discovery of Cecil Taylor led to her moving to New York City from her native Japan in 1987, and a career that she describes as “looking for musical structures” ever since.

Comments

What Else Is Hot This Week?

Cuba Re-Opens To International Tourism

From a media release:Cuba Re-Opens To International Tourism
October 2020Cuba adapts to the “new normal” and announces the re-opening of international tourism in most of the country.After controlling the pandemic, local authorities announced the country is embracing a “new normal” for most of the country’s provinces except: Havana, Ciego de Avila and Sancti Spiritus (Which still have some cases of local transmission).All international airports are already open, except Havana Airport, which will remain limited to humanitarian and cargo flights for the time being, and Cayo Coco airport, open only for tourism due to the current situation in the province of Ciego de Avila.The Minister of tourism, Mr. Juan Carlos Garcia Granda, said that “air only” passengers will be able to enter the country through all the open airports, with the exception of Cayo Coco Airport, which will continue to work as before (Holiday package: air and hotel).The Minister noted that foreign tourists will be able to st…

Jazzy Pop: Shihori - Soul Trip (Independent / 4 September 2020)

Jazzy Pop:
Shihori - Soul Trip
(Independent / 4 September 2020)New York City based singer and songwriter Shihori's new single Soul Trip is atmospheric and ambient. Interesting rhythms and interwoven melodic vocal lines showcase jazzy harmonic progressions in a slow groove mode. 
As a songwriter, she uses electronic effects with impeccable musical taste. As a singer, her flexible vocals range from a sweet soprano to a strong mid-range.A veteran of the Japanese pop scene, Shihori moved to New York City in 2018, a move she talks about in a media release."I was so surprised when I came to NY for the first time. Independent and strong women are respected and there are lots of different preferences in music and style. I thought, 'oh my God! This place really accepts uniqueness and freedom! I didn't know there is a place like this totally different world that allows you to be yourself. Everybody looks so different. So many races, colors, cultures, fashion, ideas...I am so happy…

FACTORY presents World Premiere ACTS OF FAITH November 19 to 28 2020 - Free Livestream

From a media release:World Premiere
FACTORY presents 
ACTS OF FAITHby David Yee
Directed by Nina Lee Aquino
Starring Natasha Mumba
November 19 – 28, 2020 @ 7:30PM
Streamed live for 6 performances
Free of charge
TORONTO (October 19, 2020) - To kick off its groundbreaking 2020/21 season, Factory presents the world premiere of acts of faith, by multi-award winning Asian Canadian playwright David Yee, directed by Nina Lee Aquino, and starring Natasha Mumba. Written specifically to be performed for a digital platform, acts of faith will stream live to audiences at home for six performances, November 19-28, 2020. 
Thanks to the generous support of the TD Bank Group, admission is being offered entirely free of charge to audiences across the country and beyond.acts of faith tells a story about the power of faith, the inescapable persistence of our online identities, and the nature of truth in a digital age. The story follows Faith, a young woman who gets mistaken for a prophet. When a questionable r…

Alt Country | Doc Straw & the Scarecrows: Get on By (Independent / July 31, 2020)

Alt Country
Doc Straw & the Scarecrows: Get on By
(Independent / July 31, 2020)Stream it on SpotifyClever lyrics that tell a story and an appealing acoustic bounce give the new single by Doc Straw & the Scarecrows a classic modern folk vibe. The vocal harmonies are pleasing and the words are an upbeat ode to persevering during tough times.
It's a timely message, and Doc talked about it in a release."I wrote this song after getting off of a 3-hour long phone conversation with my sister, Jessica, and a lot of our conversation that evening  centered around some of the tougher things in life and how we were dealing with these struggles. If a person lives long enough then at some point they will experience these trying seasons. I've learned that it's important to pay attention during those times because that is when we have some of the best opportunities to grow."It has a nicely haunting harmonica line and builds to an emotional peak. Virginia based Mike Straw is…

Vancouver Art Gallery Fall Exhibitions | Victor Vasarely, Op Art in Vancouver & Uncommon Language October 17, 2020 to April 5, 2021

From a media release:Vancouver Art Gallery New Fall Exhibitions
Victor Vasarely, Op Art in Vancouver & Uncommon Language
October 17, 2020 to April 5, 2021To book tickets: Visit vanartgallery.bc.caOctober 17, 2020, Vancouver, BC – This fall, the Vancouver Art Gallery presents Victor Vasarely, a selected survey of paintings, sculptures and prints by the Hungarian-French artist Victor Vasarely (1906–1997), internationally renowned for his colourful abstract patterns and playful, and visually engaging aesthetic.  Victor Vasarely, OERVENG, 1968, tempera on wood composite board, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Gift of the Estate of Kathleen E. Reif, Estate of Victor Vasarely/SOCAN (2020), Photo: Ian Lefebvre, Vancouver Art Gallery The exhibition focuses on his artistic production from the 1960s and 70s, at the height of his popularity. With the most extensive collection of Vasarely artworks in Canada, the Gallery offers a unique opportunity for the public to discover this influenti…