Satoko Fujii – piano
Joe Fonda – bass
Special guest Natsuki Tamura – trumpet
Intimate and mercurial, Duet features the adventurous musical exchange between two masters of their art. Pianist Fujii and bassist Fonda tap a rich vein of musical understanding in this collaboration showcasing a lifetime of experience and artistry. The woody sound, intense physicality, and percussive quality of Fonda’s bass contrasts beautifully with Fujii’s more flowing lines. When they add trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, the music grows richer and even more complex and layered.
2016’s Duet captured their second performance together, Triad (adding saxophonist Gianni Mimmo) and Mizu were both released as part of 2018’s “kanreki” year during which Fujii celebrated her 60th birthday by putting out one album per month. Four was released in 2019 to high praise. The rapport between Fujii and Fonda is magical; they seem to anticipate each other, sometimes spontaneously playing the same phrases at the same time, finishing each other’s thoughts, or concluding independent lines simultaneously.
“An intimate but uncharted and wide-ranging improvisational encounter… commanding, yet infused with a wide-open spirit…ranks among the more significant piano-bass recordings of recent vintage.” – Josef Woodard, DownBeat
“The energy flowing between them is palpable, exciting and occasionally almost unbearable.” – Budd Kopman, All About Jazz
“…the results are jaw-dropping.” – Mike Greenblatt, The Classical Arts
“… a disc to absolutely die for.” – Raul da Gama, Jazz da Gama
“…superb and perfectly balanced…. What I love about this disc is that it sounds like a story unfolding, as if we are entering a series of scenes which are all connected. I was on the edge of my seat throughout…. truly OUTstanding!” – Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
“The mood oscillates between deep introspection and intense communion…a successful plunge into the unknown…” – Alain Drouot, DownBeat
“Four cannot be described as anything less than an improv masterpiece.” –Phontas Troussas, Vinylmine (Greece)
They have released four CDs: Duet (2016), Triad (2018), Mizu (2018) and Four (2019).
Satoko Fujii + Joe Fonda DUO 11-15-15 (live) in Portland, Maine
SATOKO FUJII & JOE FONDA IV – Painted By Moonlight