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 Title:               In Krakow, In November

 By:                  Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura

 Released in:   2006

 Format:          CD

 Catalog No:    MW 774-2

 Price :             12 EUR


1. Strange Village (Tamura) [09:01]

2. A North Wind (Tamura) [03:45]

3. Morning Mist (Tamura) [09:21]

4. Ninepin (Fujii) [07:26]

5. A Holothurian (Fujii) [02:44]

6. In Krakow, In November (Tamura) [09:07]

7. Explorer (Tamura) [04:54]

8. Inori (Fujii) [06:07]



Stoko Fujii - piano

Natsuki Tamura - trumpet




Recorded in Poland in November 2005, it is perhaps most notable for Tamura's dominance. While the trumpeter is often in the shadows of his pianist wife, here five of the eight pieces are his, three of those — including the title track — also recorded by his excellent group Gato Libre. Fujii and Tamura play beautifully together and the Krakow studio session is a lovely, somber affair. They open with the title track from Gato Libre's first album, 2005's Strange Village. It's rare for the pair to revisit compositions — they seem to have too much forward momentum for that — but here it's great to hear new arrangements of familiar tunes. With the Gato Libre project, Tamura has from his quirky, sometimes noisy work of just a few years ago and has been writing unabashedly beautiful, Spanish-inflected melodies for his new group. Here, without guitar or rhythm section, Fujii's romantic playing sets them at a different angle. Without space between the tracks, the album comes off as a suite and 22 minutes in, when Fujii's first piece begins, it's immediately apparent how different they still are. If Tamura has dropped some of the humor and abstraction of his earlier work, Fujii is still the jazzier of the two. With Ninepin's the tempo picks up, the melodies come out of hiding and Tamura meets her with bright, boppy playing. 


(Kurt Gottschalk, All About Jazz)


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