How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Creative improvised music leaves impressions with us that we translate from our past experiences. A storm sequence or a summer breeze can be as obvious in music as it is on an artist's canvas or through a photographer's lens. Trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and pianist Satoko Fujii improvise six sketches on this session with a natural ease. It's as if they're talking. Wah-wah horn cries and muffled neighs give way to harp-like glissandi, falling cascades, and swinging melodies. In between, the duo leaves space for contemplation. By varying their improvised adventures among layered clouds (high, middle, or low) and types of clouds (rain-filled, fluffy white, or curled strands), Tamura and Fujii take the listener on a tour of the skies. Together, they express the changes we see every day. Slowly, the open trumpet settles in with big, round clouds of harmony. Later, they both fall like the rain, tinkling keys and rattling valves that uncover showers of notes. For the most part, the duo's session remains quiet with space and flowering shadows. A squealing trumpet gets an assist from chorded country dances, and a dissonant piano keyboard rumble falls in alongside low howls and growls. Theirs is an interesting conversation that may not be accessible to a large number of readers. Enjoy this session the way you absorb a piece of the sky: with all five senses wide open.