Friday, June 22, 2018

Out Today! Satoko Fujii debuts new trio This Is It! with "1538"

Satoko Fujii Turns 60!

Pianist-Composer Satoko Fujii Debuts a New Trio, This Is It!, on Her Latest CD 1538

Band features trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and percussionist Takashi Itani

“Fujii’s sound world is a kaleidoscope, and those familiar with her work have come to expect the unexpected. If any artist can be said to meet expectations by upsetting them, she’s one.” 

― Mike Chamberlain, Coda

Pianist-composer Satoko Fujii is always searching for new colleagues to help her in her quest “to make music that no one has heard before.” She found what she was looking for on 1538 featuring her latest trio with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and drummer Takashi Itani. She calls the band This Is It!, and it’s little wonder why. After a long search, she’s found one of her most free-spirited ensembles, capable of playing her compositions with a natural élan as well as soloing with emotional intensity. The album will be released June 22, 2018 via Libra Records.

This Is It! evolved slowly over several years from Fujii’s New Trio with bassist Todd Nicholson and drummer Itani. After their 2013 debut CD, Spring Storm, Tamura joined them in concert to form Quartet Tobira, which recorded Yamiyo ni Karasu in 2014. With the departure of Nicholson, the remaining band members played as Tobira – 1 (Tobira Minus One), but as they continued to play, a distinctive trio identity emerged and Fujii rechristened them with an original name. “I always like to have smaller units that can play my compositions,” Fujii says. “I have led small groups like Satoko Fujii Quartet, Satoko Fujii Trio, ma-do, and others since the beginning of my career. Right now, this trio is the one I really like to work with, so I just named it This Is It!.”

Fujii wrote some material especially for the group, but most of the compositions come from what she calls her diary. “When I sit at the piano, I always compose for 15 minutes before I begin to practice. After doing this for more than 10 years, I have 12 books of written compositions. The short pieces in these books can help me to make long pieces. I often turn to my diary books when I start to compose something.”

As Tamura attests in his CD liner notes, these pieces are often fiendishly difficult to learn but they always have structure and flow that sound unforced and that open up new possibilities for improvisers. The trio fully inhabits Fujii’s pieces, taking different approaches to each one. The trust and confidence among them create deeply layered performances that blend melody, sound, and rhythm in endlessly inventive ways. For instance, they each twist and bend the melody of “Prime Number” as they solo, creating variations that build a unified performance. They take the high-intensity title track (1538 is the melting point of iron in degrees Celsius) in multiple directions as they improvise. Tamura shrieks and brays with tormented abstractions while Fujii alternates between high energy thundering and a melancholy lyricism, and Itani’s unmoored rhythms ebb and flow. 

Some of the most otherworldly sounds to issue from a Satoko Fujii band are heard on this album (and that’s saying something). It’s often hard to tell who is making what sound. The opening of “Yozora” (which means “night sky” in Japanese) and the dreamy abstractions of “Riding on the Clouds” are bravura examples of the trio’s ability to manipulate pure sound and tone color into emotionally satisfying music. A highlight of “Swoop,” a feature for Itani, is the drummer’s virtuoso command of timbre and his sure sense of construction. 

“I just let the band play in their own way,” Fujii says. “I just love to hear how Natsuki and Takashi play my pieces. In music, I like to feel 120 percent free and I think we can do whatever we like. This is the advantage of the music!”

Fujii’s unprecedented birthday bash continues July 20 with Mizu (Long Song) featuring Fujii and bassist Joe Fonda in a follow-up to their acclaimed 2016 duo album. A concert recording by Quartet Mahobin, with Fujji, Tamura, saxophonist Lotte Anker, and Ikue Mori on laptop will follow in August and Fujii’s duet with Australian keyboardist Alister Spence in September. Later in the year, a new recording by Orchestra Tokyo and the debut of a new piano trio with bassist Ksawery Wójciński and drummer Ramon Lopez will arrive. More surprises and delights will be in store as a year of unforgettable musical riches concludes. 

Drummer Takashi Itani plays everything from jazz (Max Roach was an early inspiration) to folk music, to rock. He’s been a sideman with a truly bewildering range of musicians, including singer-songwriter Yoshio Hayakawa; new wave rock guitarist Masahide Sakuma; singer-actor Hiroshi Mikami; Michiro Endo, front man of the influential punk band The Stalin; West coast jazz saxophonist Ted Brown; and best-selling Japanese American pop star Hikaru Utada. In addition he has performed with some of Japan’s most prominent poets, including Mizuki Misumi, Shuntaro Tanikawa, Gozo Yoshimasu, and the late Takaaki Yoshimoto. 

Japanese trumpeter and composer Natsuki Tamura is internationally recognized for his unique musical vocabulary blending extended techniques with jazz lyricism. This unpredictable virtuoso “has some of the stark, melancholy lyricism of Miles, the bristling rage of late ’60s Freddie Hubbard and a dollop of the extended techniques of Wadada Leo Smith and Lester Bowie,” observes Mark Keresman of Throughout his career, Tamura has led bands with radically different approaches. On one hand, there are avant rock jazz fusion bands like his quartet. In contrast, Tamura has focused on the intersection of folk music and sound abstraction with Gato Libre since 2003. The band’s poetic, quietly surreal performances have been praised for their “surprisingly soft and lyrical beauty that at times borders on flat-out impressionism,” by Rick Anderson in CD Hotlist. In addition, Tamura and pianist (and wife) Satoko Fujii have maintained an ongoing duo since 1997. Tamura also collaborates on many of Fujii’s projects, from quartets and trios to big bands. As an unaccompanied soloist, he’s released three CDs, including Dragon Nat (2014).

He and Fujii are also members of Kaze, a collaborative quartet with French musicians, trumpeter Christian Pruvost and drummer Peter Orins. “As unconventional as he may be,” notes Marc Chenard in Coda magazine, “Natsuki Tamura is unquestionably one of the most adventurous trumpet players on the scene today.” 

Critics and fans alike hail pianist and composer Satoko Fujii as one of the most original voices in jazz today. She’s “a virtuoso piano improviser, an original composer and a bandleader who gets the best collaborators to deliver," says John Fordham in The Guardian. In concert and on more than 80 albums as a leader or co-leader, she synthesizes jazz, contemporary classical, avant-rock, and Japanese folk music into an innovative music instantly recognizable as hers alone. Over the years, Fujii has led some of the most consistently creative ensembles in modern improvised music, including her trio with bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Jim Black, the Min-Yoh Ensemble, and an electrifying avant-rock quartet featuring drummer Tatsuya Yoshida of The Ruins. Her ongoing duet project with husband Natsuki Tamura released their sixth recording, Kisaragi, in 2017. “The duo's commitment to producing new sounds based on fresh ideas is second only to their musicianship,” says Karl Ackermann in All About Jazz. Aspiration, a CD by an ad hoc band featuring Wadada Leo Smith, Tamura, and Ikue Mori, was released in 2017 to wide acclaim. “Four musicians who regularly aspire for greater heights with each venture reach the summit together on Aspiration,” writes S. Victor Aaron in Something Else. She records infrequently as an unaccompanied soloist, but Solo (Libra), the first of her 12 birthday-year albums, led Dan McClenaghan to enthuse in All About Jazz, that the album “more so than her other solo affairs—or any of her numerous ensembles for that matter—deals in beauty, delicacy of touch, graceful melodicism.” As the leader of no less than five orchestras in the U.S., Germany, and Japan, Fujii has also established herself as one of the world’s leading composers for large jazz ensembles, leading Cadence magazine to call her, “the Ellington of free jazz.” 

Pat Van Dyke - Hello, Summer (June 22, 2018)

Hello, Summer is out 6/22 on Cotter Records / Stereo Vision Recordings

Pat Van Dyke is a drummer, composer, producer, and band leader.  Equally comfortable behind the drum kit, as he is penning compositions at the Fender Rhodes, PVD balances the rhythmic intensity of true-school hip hop with the rich harmony & refreshing subtlety of jazz.  Drawing from a diverse palette of sounds, Pat’s music features live instrumentation alongside analog synthesizers, lush horns, and vintage keyboards, straddling the boundaries of electronic music, jazz, and golden era hip-hop.  

Pat's music has been praised by tastemakers and DJs around the globe such as Gilles Peterson, Bobbito Garcia, & DJ Spinna, as well as being featured on such TV networks as FOX, NBC, MTV, VH1, & Comedy Central, and providing the soundtrack to viral videos from the likes of VICE Magazine & Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”.   

Along with a rotating cast of NYC's finest musicians, PVD has brought his unique LIVE blend of soul-jazz & organic hip-hop to packed houses at The Blue Note, S.O.B's, NJPAC, The Knitting Factory, Southpaw, as well as other venues; large & small, throughout NYC & beyond.   Recent releases include two full length LPs; ‘Technicolor HI-FI’ (Cotter Records), ‘Right On Time’ (Jakarta Records - Germany), a limited edition vinyl 7" with (mc) John Robinson entitled "Miles & Trane": a hip hop tribute to the two jazz legends, as well as a 7” Vinyl Release with the legendary DJ Spinna.

1. Lotus 04:49
2. Chaos & Confusion 05:20
3. Return of the Bossa Break 03:43
4. Clockwork 03:32
5. Like They Used To Say 04:45
6. Go-Go 02:30
7. Hello, Summer 04:38
8. Blues For Benny 04:44
9. Stone Road 03:54
10. Gutterball 03:40
11. All I Need (Outro) 02:47


1) Lotus - Zac Colwell - Tenor Solo, Jesse Fischer - Rhodes Solo
2) Chaos and Confusion - Matt Chertkoff - Guitar Solo
3) Return of The Bossa Break - David Stolarz - Wurlitzer Solo
4) Clockwork - Zac Colwell - Tenor Solo
5) Like They Used To Say - Jesse Fischer - Rhodes Solo, Zac Colwell - Flute Solo


6) Go-Go - David Stolarz - Organ Solo
7) Hello, Summer - Zac Colwell - Flute Solo
8) Blues For Benny - Eric “Benny” Bloom - Trumpet Solo
9) Stone Road - David Stolarz - Wurlitzer Solo
10) Gutterball
11) All I Need (Outro) - Zac Colwell - Tenor Solo

Written, Performed, Recorded, Mixed, and Produced by Pat Van Dyke (BMI 550131251)
Published by PVD Music (BMI 1811436)
All Instruments played by Pat Van Dyke, except where noted.

Additional Performances from

Zac Colwell, Tenor Saxophone and Flute - Tracks 1,2,4,6,7,9,10
Richard Polatchek - Trumpet - Tracks 1,3,6,8,10
Joey Johnson - Tenor Saxophone - Tracks 2,4,5,7,8
Peter Lin - Trombone - Tracks 1,2,3,4,5,6,8,10,11
Sam Hoytt - Trumpet - Tracks 2,4,7,9
Nick Grinder - Trombone - Tracks 2,4,7
Ryan Anselmi - Tenor Saxophone - Tracks 3,8
David Levy - Trumpet - Tracks 5,8,11
David Stolarz - Organ - Tracks 6,8,11

Mastered by K-Def
Artwork and Layout by Andres Jimenez
Cover Photo by Steven Bley

"Like They Used to Say" is the second single from Pat Van Dyke's forthcoming album "Hello, Summer". Warm, jazz vibes that are perfect to soundtrack your summer.

"Like They Used to Say" - the last track written and recorded for "Hello, Summer" is an original tune influenced by the sounds of "Young-Holt Unlimited" and features Van Dyke on piano, bass, guitar, drums, percussion, and synths. Jesse Fischer lends his talents to the song providing a beautiful Fender Rhodes solo while Zac Colwell plays flute. The horn parts were written by Pat and played by Dave Levy (Trumpet), Joey Johnson (Sax) and Peter Lin (Trombone).

Album pre-order

Roz Harding - Supermood (June 22, 2018)

Welcome to the Supermood. This is the first studio recording of these compositions and improvisations. It’s a great thrill to be sharing them. Many of these tracks are the one and only take, capturing three musicians on three days and retaining the live element that is vital to this music. You will also hear some studio surprises entwined within this live approach. Multiple microphones were set up to follow movement, I hope you feel like you are with us. I enjoy writing set lists - it shapes the music for the individual gig and supports the way I feel like delivering the music that day. The opportunity to release as digital download, CD and vinyl has allowed me to present these compositions as two different sets. The vinyl has the music organised into Breathe In and Breathe Out and the CD/digital download as a non-stop narrative of life inside the Supermood.


SUPERMOOD are a band playing modern music rooted in jazz. Compositions by Roz Harding, band sound by everyone. Since emerging in 2013 SUPERMOOD have defined a captivating live sound ("Adventurous and moving" - Deirdre Cartwright). Their music descibed as "fresh and imaginative" (Martin King - Smiths Academy Informer) is fuelled by improvisation, dramatic rhythms, movement and breath, raw textures and introspective melodies. Influences for Roz's music include Kate Bush, Bob Dylan, Frederick Alexander and his technique, Art Pepper, Jeff Buckley, Prince, Nick Drake, Manic Street Preachers and Jackie McLean. Wherever possible SUPERMOOD gigs are delivered under cover of the SUPERMOOD handmade light show, a visual experience drawn from 1960s liquid light show techniques. 

"What really impresses is the way the group works together as a single entity with a common musical purpose, a focus on the material itself. Roz's tunes, such as Fifty-two fifty, If you could, Sun wish and Yesterday I was on time, have many angular rhythmic and harmonic moments but remain accessible to listeners. The transition from composed to improvised sections was often seamless and the whole thing sounded very fresh and imaginative, free from the bebop clichés and Trane-isms which - liberating though they are - can actually straightjacket many a fine player. The Vortex jazz crowd loved it and their appearance here was an unqualified success. Their future looks exciting." - Martin King - Smiths Academy Informer

"Roz Harding can appear a reluctant leader compared to other saxophonists fronting their bands, but with this project she has a forum for her metier. What happens is that rather than make extended solo statements - with underlying support - she offers conversational fragments for the others to respond to; in turn her solo is shaped by the resulting fabric of sounds. Few saxophonists comes to mind as such truly dialectical improvisers (perhaps Sam Rivers and Ingrid Laubrock). This approach makes for a group resonance, a shifting dynamic equilibrium; one's eyes dart between the members trying to work out when she is leading and when she is following (perhaps a new riddle arises out of this! question: when is a soloist not a soloist, answer: Roz Harding). The spectacles of evolving scenes are both exciting and moving as prodigious techniques and craft skills are made to serve artistic creativity. Her combination of the aural and the visual makes for great entertainment besides great art; Roz is a textbook case that supports Dalacroze's idea. His eurhythmics, the art of interpreting music through bodily movements, stresses the aesthetic sense of musical structures. We get (warmly) to see her expressing her real-time musical-experiences as feelings, rather than get to abstract and intuit her demonstrating (coldly) her musical-knowledge." - Excerpt from Gary Bayley's 'Architecture and A Sense Of The City'. 

1. Breath Intro 01:38
2. If You Could 07:46
3. Waiting For Pea 08:15
4. Tangled Part 1 00:33
5. Tangled Part 2 12:12
6. Mega Bear 11:54
7. You Breathed In A Storm 07:20
8. For The Moon 04:10
9. Breath Outro 00:32
10. Yesterday I Was On Time 07:50
11. Fifty-Two Fifty 05:16

Mike Outram - guitar, voice
Jim Bashford - drums, voice

Fay Victor's SoundNoiseFunk - Wet Robots (ESP-Disk' July 17, 2018)

This is Fay Victor's first album as a leader released on an American label other than her own Greene Street Music, but she is already a star on the New York avant-jazz scene. 

from Bradley Bambarger's liner notes: 

"Few vocalists have the sheer boldness – the outright fearlessness – of Fay Victor as an improviser. The New York native has long been a creative force on the avant-jazz scene, as a singer, bandleader, composer, arranger, and teacher. She has worked on both sides of the Atlantic with the likes of Misha Mengelberg, Roswell Rudd, and Anthony Braxton, along with recording several distinctive albums as a leader. Reviewing her recent disc Absinthe & Vermouth, NPR declared evocatively that Fay’s original songs sound “as if Joni Mitchell wrote lyrics for a lost Betty Carter prog-rock album – and it totally works.” Fay has also recorded edgy blues in a duo with guitarist Anders Nilsson, and she is an inspired re-animator of vintage instrumentals as vocal material, in the spirit of Carmen McRae in Monk; to this end, Fay has performed with her In Praise of Ornette group and with her house-rocking Herbie Nichols Sung band. 

"Now we have on record Fay’s SoundNoiseFUNK quartet, featuring Joe Morris, Sam Newsome, and Reggie Nicholson – each an exceptional maker of music in the moment. Although Fay enjoyed a rapport with each of these players in various combinations, this foursome had never played together as a unit before the single summer day last year when Wet Robots was captured in a Brooklyn studio. If jazz is the sound of surprise, this album startles – a sonic funhouse of left turns. The band floats in its own space, untethered by a bass. Morris’s guitar moves like a snake. Newhouse keens, taps, sighs on the straight horn. Nicholson makes his percussion set-up a skittering, rattling thing. Then there is Fay – her voice primal and wild, as attuned to unfettered expression as Albert Ayler’s tenor." 

1. Funky Dunk
2. A Witness in the Wilderness
3. Information Highway
4. Police Lights and Sirens
5. Squeeze Bottle
6. The Blues Are Always Free
7. Creative Folks!
8. Textured Pines
9. Whistling on a Sketeboard
10. I Sing
11. The Ha-Ha's
12. Holding Back the Scream

Fay Victor, vocals, lyrics
Sam Newsome, soprano saxophone
Joe Morris, electric guitar
Reggie Nicholson, drums

Drawings by Diana Kinscher / Design & layout by Jonathan Granola / Liner Notes by Bradley Bambarger 
Produced by Steve Holtje / Recorded at Park West Studios on August 4, 2017 by Jim Clouse

Omer Avital - QANTAR (2018)

QANTAR is OMER AVITAL’s dream quintet. Since forming in 2016, the improvisations they created around Avital’s compositions jelled in an immediate and uncanny way, as if the musicians were traveling along the same tightrope, aloft and daring, with an incredible solidarity held together by a bond that went far beyond performing the notes and letting go in the solos. That bond seems to have been formed from their individual careers criss-crossing so many times since leaving Israel. Indeed, all are Israeli expatriates, all living in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, all then hanging out at Omer’s sharing dinner and Turkish coffee. There is a friendship these musicians enjoy which definitely penetrates the performances. This shared history, even though years apart, imbued this quintet with the key to Avital’s music: his ability to bring the various rhythmic and harmonic vocabularies underpinning 20th and 21st century hardcore jazz expression to flow with a polyphonic attitude and musical multilingualism.

1. One Man's Light Is Another Man's Night 07:16
2. Hamina 04:39
3. Dabel Elay Africa 05:22
4. Beauty And The Beast 06:52
5. Immigration 06:05
6. Bambolero 05:09
7. Turkish Coffe Blue 06:47
8. Cool Song 06:07
9. Know What I Mean?! 03:53

Omer Avital - Bass and Compositions
Eden Ladin - Piano and Keyboards
Ofri Nehemya - Drums
Alexander Levin - Tenor Sax
Asaf Yuria - Soprano and Tenor Sax

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal: Visiting the Festival?

Access to the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal site 
and all outdoor shows are free!

For live shows, check out the schedule
and buy tickets online at

Access to the site
The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal site is located
in the Quartier des spectacles, in the heart of downtown Montreal.

All means are good to come to the Festival:
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Public transit

Place-des-Arts and Saint-Laurent Metro stations (green line),
or Place d’Armes (orange lines)

Bus : 15, 24, 55, 80, 125 and 129 lines for details

BIXI stations for details

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Persons driving to the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal will be directed to paid parking areas near the site or directly on site at Place des Arts, Complexe Desjardins and the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).

Bicycles, skateboards and in-line skates are not permitted on-site.
Bicycle parking available at the entrances of the site.

Map of the Festival
Where does your favorite artist play? Where are the bathrooms? Where are the best terraces, bars and food? To answer all these questions,
check out our site map.

A package for the Jazz aficionados! 
Take advantage of this unique package giving you unlimited access to these three indoor venues for the duration of your stay: Club Soda, MTELUS and l'Astral. With The Jazz Passeport Package, you can look forward to experiencing everything that the Festival has to offer.

– Only 30 packages available –

Book your accommodation
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Things to do
Discover Montreal and take part in the tourist activities
just steps away from the Festival!

Family Activities
Featuring a wide array of interactive activities conceived around the theme of “music”, in a space developed and laid out with family requirements in mind! Playtime meets technology in fun, musical installations—fanciful and fantastic!