The pairing of virtuoso bassist Joe Fonda and the pianist/composer/bandleader/artistic “force of nature” Satoko Fujii was, to my sonic imagination, a musical marriage made in duet heaven.
Dimensions In Jazz had hosted both Satoko and Joe (in a variety of configurations) over the years; Joe, most recently with Barry Altschul’s “3Dom Factor” and Satoko with her two trumpet co-op quartet “KAZE” featuring her trumpeter husband, Natsuki Tamura, whose surprise appearance on this evening’s second set lent a thrilling complimentarity and edginess to the principals perspicacious interplay.
So when Joe suggested a duo performance with Satoko, with whom he’d, as yet, never played, and, in truth, had never even met, but whose music had become a compelling draw on his sonic imagination, I didn’t hesitate to offer my venue in Portland if, indeed, the project came together.
...And, well, Joe being Joe, and Satoko being Satoko, and despite insanely tight schedule pressure and transportation intricacies, somehow they made it happen...and man, did it happen.
On a beautiful mid-autumn evening, in the acoustically superb Meloon Chapel in Woodford’s Congregational church in Portland (Maine, that is) an enthusiastic, savvy and jazz hungry audience of 50 plus were treated to (and blown away by) an evening of improvisational magic (“Jewels and miracles”) provided by two of contemporary music’s most gifted and innovative artists - Selah!
We’d like to recognize the contributions of the brilliant sound recordist Pete Nenortas, whose dynamic registration of that special performance allows you to share (with us, now) what we experienced then... kinda like we’re all in it together (again)(for the first time — over and over...
The co-incidental rhyming of Joe and Sa-To-Ko- Extends (the occasion)
Well beyond “mere” syllables,
Well beyond the salvific mysteries of language
to the spontaneously immaculate dialogics of musical generosity — the “ear”
in the middle of h”ear”t
and how it’s here, now...