Kaze – Press




“(…) Kaze itself soared, easily overcoming any limits from its unique instrumentation. With Tamura’s output sometimes bumping and grinding and Pruvost, not averse to deconstructing the compositions and his own horn to boot, the musical journey mixed capillary fragmentation with keyboard romanticism, although a droning continuum was often created by Fujii’s inner-string sweeps and Orins’ hi-hat coordination. Theatrical at times with martial rhythms from the drummer contrasting with glissandi and expressive keyboard stretches from Fujii, the overall impression was as imbued with the spirit of jazz as anything heard at Jazz Cerkno 23.” (about Kaze at Jazz Cerkno 2018) – Ken Waxman, JazzWord

“Another superb jazz-qua-jazz concert was played by the Japanese/French quartet Kaze. Pianist Satoko Fujii was a real surprise – her monstrous keyboard technique uses every inch of available space to create a harmonic and textural framework for the other players, trumpeters Natsuki Tamura and Christian Pruvost, plus drummer Peter Orins. The dynamics were defined by a great mix of quiet extended technique weirdness and free blowing passages that emphasised the unusual qualities of the line-up. Never heard anything quite like it, and their new disc Uminari (Circum-Libra) is excellent” (about Kaze at FIMAV 2015) – Byron Coley, The Wire

“From another double-up angle, the rarely heard sound of two trumpets collaborating, interweaving and cross-talking is at the center of the group Kaze, whose penultimate set of the festival was also one of the high points of the overall program. Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii and her husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, teamed up with musicians from Lille, France—trumpeter Christian Pruvost and drummer Peter Orins—five years ago, and formed this unique, bass-less quartet. The quartet has honed a strong distinctive group sound over the course of three albums, and at FIMAV, the set list slalomed from structured parts to an increasingly free-spirited abandon, as the musicians felt freer than usual to dispense with rules of conduct or even standard practice on their instruments. For the record, they did navigate a few chord changes, here and there, on the way “out.”” (about Kaze at FIMAV 2015) – Josef Woodard, Downbeat

This year’s edition of Victoriaville was perhaps the strongest I have attended—this was my fifteenth FIMAV in a row—and Sunday’s performance by Kaze, the quartet of pianist Satoko Fujii, trumpeters Natsuki Tamura and Christian Pruvost, and drummer Peter Orins was my favorite of the concerts presented this year. As impressive as the music itself and the musical techniques, particularly the extended techniques of Tamura and Pruvost, was the control over the very sound of the instruments and the way the air moved in the room. Fujii’s piano playing was impressive, and Orin’s colorings were in perfect synch with her. Not only that, but the music was really quite humorous, Tamura letting out his comedic side with a section employing small instruments, including a pig squeeze toy that he used to great effect—the effect in aid of the music, and not as a side dish or gimmick.” (about Kaze at FIMAV 2015) – Mike Chamberlain, All About Jazz

this was fantastic jazz at its most exciting” (about Kaze at FIMAV 2015) – Byron Coley, exclaim.ca

“Intense and playful, down-to-earth and international, Kaze communicates in a musical language of contrasts and continuity.” – Virginia Schaefer, JazzTimes

“I can report nothing but complete astonishment at how amazing the show by Satoko Fujii and Kaze was last night at Duende in Oakland.” – Larry Blood, KUSP

“Just back from one of the most musically dynamic and intense “jazz” sets of the year: Satoko Fujii’s Kaze quartet at Duende, with Natsuki Tamura and Christian Pruvost on trumpets and Peter Orins on drums. If you think you can imagine what piano, drums, and two trumpets will sound like, think again.” — Derk Richardson, KPFA Radio

“Takes jazz abstraction to a sublime limit. And it does sound like the process of abstract painting — everything is about balance, the relationship of mark to ground, the shape of lines, with vague reference to a tonal center of fixed time-keeping… There is suspense, virtuosity, mystery, calm.” – Jon Garelick, Giant Steps

“The music built slowly and deliberately through long ambient stretches, and when the sophisticated melodies showed up, they were dispensed with in a matter of seconds. Fujii’s quartet could go from 0 to 100 at the drop of a hat, but only once in a while, and nearly always at the perfect time… Romantic, cacophonous, intelligent, and thoroughly without pretense.” – Steve Mossberg, Arts Fuse

“I first heard Kaze at Jazz Art Sengawa 2011.  The group has unusual instrumentation – two trumpets, drums and a piano – and their performance was extraordinary…  I actually felt that their music expressed the wind itself, the turbulence, breeze, whirlwind, the first gale of spring….Kaze is a wonderful new group on the jazz scene.” – Koich Makigami, Artistic Director of Jazz Art Sengawa

“What I personally love about the music of Satoko Fuji is what I love about the music of Myra Melford. It’s the journey of truth. Whether it’s the large ensemble, small groups with her husband or indeed as is with her most recent recording, solo piano, it’s always a voyage of discovery.” — John O’Brien, Radio host, Giant Steps (Australia)

“I was blown away by their collective virtuosity and by their kinetic interaction, from the first notes they played. The two-trumpet line, in some ways, hearkens back to Louis Armstrong and Joe Oliver… Satoko Fujii’s virtuoso piano formed an integral part of the ensemble, negotiating between poly-directional rhythms and entwined melodic lines, sometimes subtending the performance harmonically, sometimes offering percussive counterpoint. Her playing is dynamic, ever-present, but also open and responsive.” – Kevin McNeilly, Frank Styles.com

“Best live show.” — Masahiko Yuh, Jazz Tokyo, 2011

Atody Man (2018)

“Atody Man is an exhilarating demonstration of the stylistic versatility and inventiveness of this exceptional group. Beyond that these six pieces testify to remarkable levels of shared understanding and intuition. Four agile improvisors converge from separate trajectories or change direction together, darting and wheeling like swifts in flight.” Julian Cowley, The Wire

“Kaze is still one of its kind. A quartet that keeps experimenting, pushing its limits but always manages to produce beautiful, thoughtful music.” Eyal Hareuveni, Salt Peanuts

“(…) this is a group of four master musicians communicating in real time as they move through a web of ideas, not necessarily something scored and rigid to follow. It’s nominally jazz, but there are a lot of classical and purely avant-garde elements in the mix here, and on the first few plays some of this might seem like difficult listening until you relax and soak it in, then the sheer beauty of it will shine through what originally seemed like rough edges and chaos, with each player offering their unique interpretations as it proceeds.” Peter Thelen, Exposé

“Atody Man is impeccable in its execution, rewarding for its variety, and relentless in its pursuit for the new and confounding.” Chris Robinson, Point of Departure

“Kaze’s music is a unique entity full of sudden, jarring twists and turns. Its details can be spiky and chaotic , but its hole always makes sense. This is a wild and exhilarating effort.” Jerome Wilson, All About Jazz

“(…) The sound of Kaze is suitably avant-garde, with the extended techniques of the trumpeters occasionally bringing fellow blowers Nate Wooley and Peter Evans (and of course Wadada Leo Smith and Bill Dixon) to mind, but just as impressive is how they can recall ’70s Euro free improv and deliver big doses of jazzy lyricism. An altogether delightful listen.” Joseph Neff, The Vinyl District

“Atody Man is—so far—the most innovative of the Kaze albums and a worthy addition to the larger Fujii/Tamura catalog.” Karl Ackermann, All About Jazz

“The music flows from the somber to the bombastic, from chaotic to to melodic, from majestic to intensively pensive. A wild and wondrous ride, as it always is with Fujii. The most focused and accessible of her five Kaze sets.” Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

Uminari (2015)

“As in the other albums, there is lots of ‘plot development’ in a story-telling fashion, with high levels of dramatic moments and catharsis, yet it never comes across as construed, and more as the result of the organic movement of the music itself. A wonderful collective achievement.” Stef Gijssels, Free Jazz Blog

“Put the whole thing together with the compositional motives, moods and varied sequencing of who plays and who lays out and you get something avant in ways that are well thought through. It all keeps the serious listener busy and fascinated, involved from moment-to-moment following the many event developments and their very musical and often unexpected twists and turns. Another great one from Kaze! Give this one your ears and it will give back in kind.” Grego Edwards, Gapplegate Music Review

“This is an album to die for.” – Raul da Gama, JazzdaGama

“This makes their music very organic. Complex and intellectual on the one hand, but also wild and natural. Great work!” – Dolf Mulder, Vital Weekly

“There’s plenty of open space here for all the players to develop ideas individually and together, all taken, a step forward from their previous release Tornado, but like that one, this also requires some attention and plenty of listens before it all makes sense, but the persistence pays off.” Peter Thelen, Exposé

“Se jouant des clichés du style pour véritablement se déporter sur tous les terrains sonores et stylistiques, Kaze offre un exemple convaincant de free-jazz d’aujourd’hui.” Vincent Cotro, Jazz Magazine

Tornado (2013)

 “Its sound is as idiosyncratically original and no-hold-barred as it comes… Quirky characters, sudden bursts of madcap action, and segments of surreal cartoon lunacy that as a whole makes perfect sense. That’s the art of Satoko Fujii and Kaze.” – Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

“Their 2011 debut Rafale was more than just promising. Tremendous, even, so their sophomore album Tornado is probably a good place to start… Avant-garde noise is sometimes just noise, but Kaze’s sound and methods are beyond that. It’s the sound of a deadly vine, choking or caressing its subject, passing through fury and tranquility with equal capability.” – John Garratt, Pop Matters

“Attractive from the outset with its colossal energy and spontaneity, Kaze reveals Satoko Fujii in yet another light with “Tornado.” – Lorraine Soliman, JazzMan (France)

“It is finished in the drama of high density.”— Shiro Matsuo, Music Magazine

“The performances are exhilarating. From Orins’ sensitively dynamic drumming, Satoko’s highly supercharged, creative, well-timing piano outbursts to the edge-of-the-sound-and-back trumpeting of Tamura and Pruvost, this is outstanding avant music. One of the best I’ve heard this year!” – Greg Edwards, Gapplegate Music Review

“Even more eruptive, more unpredictable and more contrasting than the debut. As before, this is music about mood and emotion, not structure or technical features. They rely some on twentieth century classical, free jazz, European folk music and moments of stark, gentle beauty.” – Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews

“Like the last disc by Kaze, this one is equally adventurous with pieces written by three of the four members (everyone but Pruvost). Both trumpeters are superb players and well utilized due the strong compositions and daring improv sections… This disc is one of this year’s best.” – Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

“Erratic channels of magnificence and eccentricity course through Tornado and sculpt a spirit of adventurousness into the rock. This is invigorating music, a palette of sound that can’t be plotted with ease.” – Jordan Richardson, Canadian Audiophile

“…a tightly integrated and artistically fecund unit with a distinct sound and purpose… Simply put, this album is an avant-garde trumpet fan’s dream-come-true… Tornado stands as further evidence that Fujii and Tamura are unparalleled as players, composers and musical conceptualists. By continually inviting new musicians into their inner circle, they only strengthen their own capabilities. “ – Dave Wayne, All About Jazz

“Tornado is more explosive, unpredictable and juxtaposing than the band’s first outing. There are deceptively lovely moments which contrast and/or collide with a kaleidoscope of tempo changes, timbre alterations, dissonance, and influences from jazz, European and Asian folk, contemporary classical, and avant-rock.” – Doug Simpson, Audiophile Audition

“The trumpets burst out of the gate, and the pianist almost makes the drummer an afterthought. And when the fury breaks, they keep it interesting in subtler ways. A-” – Tom Hull, Jazz Prospecting

Rafale (2011)

Best Releases of 2011 — Eyal Hareuveni, All About Jazz

Free Jazz Album Of The Year 2011, Stef Gijssels, Free Jazz Collective 

Best Releases of 2011 — Mark F. Turner, All About Jazz

PopMatters Best Jazz of 2011 — John Garratt, Pop Matters

Avant Music News Best of 2011, Mike Borella

Something Else! S.Victor Aaron’s Top Albums for 2011

Best of 2011 — Christ Robinson, Outsideinsideout

Jazz Tokyo Masahiko Yuh’s  “Best Live Concert 2011”

“This is a stunning achievement from note one…the whole disc teams with life, blistering free jazz tempered by moments of composed introspection that roil with their own undercurrents, threatening to explode at any moment.” Mark Medwin, The New York City Jazz Record

“Kaze is among the freest sounding [of Fujii’s recordings] I’ve heard to date…They operate in hushed dynamic territory…but play with equal invention and commitment…” –JB, Paris Transatlantic Magazine

“Thrilling throughout.” — Shiro Matsuo, Music Magazine

“9 out of 10. Peter Orins and Pruvost create an explosive sound with the couple that’s also impressive in its movement… Can’t come more recommended.” – John Garratt, Pop Matters

“’Noise Chopin’ honors the bicentennial of the Polish composer’s birth with a work that progresses from raw trumpet noise to a rollicking composition driven by Orins’ trap kit.” ― Mike Shanley, JazzTimes

“Five stars: An expansive set… four enormously active minds on the same musical plane… captivating and in some instances, mind-bending pieces, sans any limiting factors.” – Glenn Astarita, Jazz Review

“Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura make jazz that is always challenging and ambitious. While it may lack the sort of smoothness that would ensure mass appeal, it is a dense, powerful sound.” — Shoji Ichikawa, Stereo

“…nearly every composition leads into the next, with timbral inventions designed to bring out the unusual instrument tinctures as well as harmonic intersections among the four sound sources…memorable, adventurous listening.” – Ken Waxman, JazzWord

“…twists and turns, noise followed by lyrical beauty; nuanced percussion followed by powerhouse drumming; and wild cacophonies that lead into introspective solo slots. Expect the unexpected.” – Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

“On Kaze (2011, Circum-Libra) this bass-less, dual trumpet setup results in a painterly and vigorously expressive group sound….The cathartic release of accumulated tension is powerfully effective on record; it must have been doubly so for the audience at the concert at which Kaze was  recorded.” — Tim Owen, Dalston Sound

 “An unending eruption of creative intent, bursting with exuberant talent.” — Eisuke Sato, CD Journal

 “…a curious and challenging side venture for Fujii and an opportunity for Tamura to match wits with another trumpeter [Christian Pruvost] with equal interest and skill in extended techniques for the horn.” – Stuart Kremsky, IAJRC Journal

“…redefines listening to music, redefines genres, redefines playing music.…an incredibly rich listening experience, ranging from intimate impressionism to bursts of expressionism, from soundtrack-like car chases to avant-garde soundscapes, and the occasional rock beat. You get it all here.” – Stef, Free Jazz

“Each piece employs a different strategy and each is fascinating…both trumpet players work well together, consistently pushing each other and exchanging ideas.” – Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

“Natsuki and Christian coax more unlikely sounds from their trumpets than you could ever imagine…it is wild!” – D. Oscar Groomes, O’s Place Jazz Newsletter

“At times all four players are seemingly going off in different directions but in the end everyone converges…be prepared for some dazzling sounds.” – Pete Pardo, Sea of Tranquility