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gAs for trumpeter Natsuki Tamura – call him a sky-writer.h Jim Macnie, The Village Voice

gThis is extremely beautiful music, defined by its intelligence and risk.h \ Jason Bivins, Cadence

gProof that improvised music can be emotionally engaging as well as ear ticklingcImagine Don Cherry woke up one morning, found he'd joined an avant goth-rock band and was booked to score an Italian horror movie. It might be an unlikely scenario, but it goes some way to describing this magnificent sprawl of a record from Natsuki Tamurac a deeply compelling listen." \ Peter Marsh, BBC

gHis playing evokes the great trumpeter explorers of the seventies – Miles Davis, Don Cherry and Mongezi Feza – yet he would never be mistaken for any of them.h \ Brent Burton, Jazz Times

gMy favorite trumpet player in the world is Natsuki Tamura.h \ Miho Watanabe, Ele-King

gcTamurafs trumpet is lyrically beautiful and commanding.h \ Andy Hamilton, Wire

gcsounds that elevate, startle and thrill.h \ Jerry DfSouza, All About Jazz

 gTamura has an especially wide vocabulary of sounds, ranging from comic, muted gurgling to soulful harmonics – and these are just the sounds he achieves through blowing the instrument.h \ Rob Adams, The Glasgow Herald

gcwondrous facility and articulation at all tempos, and a musical sense of humor reminiscent of the late Lester Bowiec a fresh approach to improvised musicc Adventuresome and rewarding.h – Stuart Kremsky, IAJRC Journal

gTrumpeter Natsuki Tamura, who composes all the material, is the real star, his ghostly, poetic sound filling the air with great beauty.h \ Philip Johnson, The Independent (UK)

gThis collaborationc is a rolling storm of sound.  The music doesn't swing, it stomps.h  \ Phil Freeman, The Wire

gNow we can officially say there are two Natsuki Tamuras: The one playing angular jazz-rock or ferocious free improv and the one writing simple melodies of stunning beauty. How the two of them live in the same body and breathe through the same trumpet might remain a mysteryc Pure delight.h \ François Couture, All Music Guide

gca remarkable trumpeter, individual, lyrical and dramatic. Gato Libre seems perfect for this aspect of Tamurafs varied musical personality.h \ Ray Comiskey, The Irish Times

gStylistically spanning a spectrum of musical history that includes trumpeters Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, Lester Bowie, and Toshinori Kondo.h  \ Derk Richardson, San Francisco Bay Guardian

gTamura controls the tone of his trumpet at will and he has entered territory that no one has ever explored.h \ Masahiro Imai, Musen to Jikken

gNatsuki Tamura is unquestionably one of the most adventurous trumpet players on the scene today. Yet the musical partner of pianist Satoko Fujii is very much part of a long lineage of free-spirited trumpeters, encompassing the likes of Freddie Keppard, Bubber Miley and Rex Stewart, and more contemporary stylists such as Don Cherry, Lester Bowie, Bill Dixon and Leo Smith.h \ Marc Chenard, Coda

gWith nothing but his voice and trumpet, Tamura comes up with a persona no less self-contained than that of early, wandering bluesmen like Robert Johnson or Charlie Patton.h \ Ken Waxman, Jazzweekly

gcmysterious, haunting and startling.h \ Larry Appelbaum, JazzTimes

gTamura, on trumpet, is also a fantastic voice. He plays the instrument sensuously, focusing on sound and tone rather than just on pitches. At times he sounded like a crying baby, and at times his trumpet sounded so fierce and loud that it made the audience shift in their seats.h \ Adam Kinner, The Gazette (Montreal)

gTamurafs trumpet soared with quiet melodies that rose above his accompaniment with majesty and poisec.His solos amounted to conversations between artist and audience.h \ Jim Santella, All About Jazz

Tamurafs CDs have consistently been voted as among the Top 10 of the Year by critics.


Ko Ko Ko Ke (2004)
gA highly serene, peaceful, intimate journey through the art of melody and play.  Natsuki Tamura alternates between simple melodic statements interpreted as if he was murmuring them to your ear and nonsense vocal sections sounding somewhere between plainsong and sound poetrych \ François Couture, All Music Guide

gYoufll never fit trumpeter Natsuki Tamura into any pre-fab category. He creates his own, then pulls you into them with himcOn Ko Ko Ko Ke he settles into a subdued sound, prayer-like throughout.h \ Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

"Tamura usually blows extremely hard but here he slows down all the way through.  Yes, he is a trumpeter blessed with beautiful sound in the mid to low registers, and a slow song is really a good vehicle for that beauty.h \ Kiyoshi Tsunami, Swing Journal

gThis is the second solo disc from the excellent Tamura, who has played often with his wife, pianist Satoko Fujii, and has been patiently constructing a voice poised midway between a sweet, warm, Booker Little-influenced sound and a restless, spittle-filled approach that may be indebted to mischief makers like Lester Bowie and Herb Robertson.h \ Jason Bivins, Cadence

gcA stunning example of another facet of Tamurafs workc The absolute purity of sound has the most immediate impact, his unembellished lines sing with a flawless resonance that is completely arresting.h \ Paul Donnelly, ejazznews.com

"Tamurafs trumpet quickly evaporates my efatigue I feel when I think about jazz and its listenersf. Ko Ko Ko Ke stimulates my imagination in various ways." \ Manabu Yuasa, Studio Voice

"It was not until quite recently that I finally managed to find the way to follow the extraordinarily unpredictable music created by Tamurafs unique sensitivityc he seems now to enjoy conversations with himself softly and sparsely in the mood of pastoral melancholyc it could be interpreted that he is, in this crystal-clean atmosphere, trying to return slowly and calmly to the origin of Japan." \ Tatsuya Nagato, Jazz Life

gHis mournful trumpet tone is unique.  His interpretations are always musically correct.  The listener does not have to cope with distractionsc Tamura has been influenced by a lifetime of exposure to traditional folk songs, as well as to modern musical concepts.  With Ko Ko Ko Ke, he lets both branches flow into one river \ a river of creativity.h \ Jim Santella, All About Jazz

gListening is like witnessing the negotiation of a gentle, polyglot ritual invaded occasionally by surreal strangeness. The CD cover bears eerie, blurred images of a figure walking from darkness toward a brightly lit room: the impression of both imagery and music is somewhat reminiscent of a gnomic scene from a David Lynch film. Though Ko Ko Ko Ke might be interpreted as a study in what is innate and what is instrumental, ultimately this singular music refuses to be reduced to the purely rational.h \ Colin Buttimer, Jazzwise
 gcTamura shrewdly creates a sound world that while completely his own also hints at the mythological and musical folklore of Asian and European culturesc. With nothing but his voice and trumpet, Tamura comes up with a persona no less self-contained than that of early, wandering bluesmen like Robert Johnson or Charlie Patton.h \ Ken Waxman, Jazzweekly

gThe liner notes compare it to ean artifact from another worldf and Ifd second that motion heartily. The sound sources consist of Tamurafs trumpet and voice. When he sings, it is in no known language – the syllables of the title are an example. A meditative mood pervades the whole thing, and the melodies tend toward minimal simplicity, like Buddhist chants from an alien planet. Great attention envelops every detail, from the breathing to the tone and vibrato.h \ Jon Davis, Exposé

A Song for Jyaki  (1998)

"Writer's Choice 1998: Top 10 CDs" \ Benjamin Franklin, Coda

 gCommunicative, surprisingly so for a solo trumpet outing, and along with How Many? and South Wind, is a compelling addition to a genuinely innovative record labelfs output... Miles is evoked, as well as some extraordinary bass clarinetesque sonorities, on the echo chamber that is the reverberating eBlackholef... eFamily of Molef contains almost hard-boppish flourishes that Freddie Hubbard would be proud of... The final piece eMy Folk Songf combines the luminous beauty of eYan-Sadof with the Lester Bowie-esque/computer playing scales effects of ePracticef to mournful mesmerizing effect.h  \ Stephen C. Middleton, Wire

hA fabulous set of hiccuping leaps, drones and post-bop trumpet hi-jinx.  Tamura goes from growling lows to fluid, free solo runs and echoes not only Don Cherry's slurring anti-virtuosic chops but also Kenny Wheeler's piercing high wire fullness.h \ Andy Bartlett, Coda

hHis performance comes from the origin of expression, has great melody and is very lively.  What makes his music most attractive is its cheerfulness and spirit.h \ Swing Journal

hThis CD seems more like a self-portrait with a trumpet rather than Free Jazz.h \ Yujin Naito, Jazz Life

gAnyone complaining about the lack of gsomething differenth hasnft heard the music of Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii and her husband Natsuki Tamura.  Their sounds are a potent mix of passion and calculated madness, with Tamurafs plaintive horn cry somewhere between a blast and a bleat.  On A Song for Jyaki, Tamura initiates a solo statement that is in the great tradition of original musical storytellers...his music magically captures the sounds of nature...h \ Rick Marx, Jazz Central Station

gA solo trumpet album might seem a daunting walk for most players \ bereft of any underpinnings, any backdrop, and support from other musicians.  But Japanese improviser Natsuki Tamura is a bold and innovative improviser, unafraid of the challenge.  A Song For Jyaki is a chance for Tamura to follow his muse, whether itfs emotive bleating, lonely melodicism or outright comical efforts... Recommended.h \ James Lien, CMJ

gTamura shows chops that would make Louis Armstrong jealous...Recommended for those who canft do without a little improv.h \ Dick Metcalf, Improvijazzation Nation

"Brilliantly articulated, brassy lines that reveal roots in the work of Brown, Morgan and Hubbard." \ Stuart Broomer, Coda

gStar trumpeter Natsuki Tamura proves daring with rare fingerings, creative and adventurous, playing the compositions of his wife, Satoko Fujii.h \ Jack Burke, The Wax Works


gOur picks for the best of the festc Though she needed a stool extension to sit at the keyboard properly, her musical presence is anything but small. She has a way of pulling the most powerful and expressive sounds out of the pianoc And the pair is better than the sum of its parts. Intuition and communication like that is rare.h
\ Adam Kinner, The Gazette (Montreal)

gcthe duos with Tamura explore a variety of moods with the most delicate of textures.h \ Mike Chamberlain, Ottawa Express

gThis is music loaded with playful musical dialog and melodic, polyrhythmic exchangesc Augmented here by the wildly-creative Fujii, one of the most original voices on her instrument, and the equally-compelling Tamura, this special performance will feature both familiar and unfamiliar musical dialects presented in a concert like none other.h \ Earshot

gctheyfll be joined by two of Japanfs most adventurous and celebrated jazz musicians, Satoko Fujii on synthesizer and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura.h \ Andrew Gilbert, Contra Costa Times

gShefs an abstract expressionist who uses clusters – intimate fingerings – and manages to find rhythmic motifs in free playing. She lands at the Metropol, Saturday, with her husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura. Together they engage in rewarding give-and-take exchanges.h \ Los Angeles City Beat

gTonight at Jazz at the Bistro, itfs an evening of international avant garde jazz from pianist Satoko Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura.h \ St. Louis Jazz Notes

gcthe addition of keyboardist Satoko Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura broadens the scope considerably. This is a crew who can confidently move from extremely minimalist high-note suspensions to dynamically-composed freedom-riffing, even during the course of a single composition.h
\ Martin Longley, The Stirrer

gTamura and Fujiifs ability to fit into any musical scene is really something. Their musical backbone is upright, but they play by ear like nomads.h \ Mariko Okayama, Jazz Tokyo

gTamura and Fujiifs music never decreases in power, even though I have heard them many times.h
\ Manabu Yuasa, Zipang News

gIt was 1997 when Natsuki Tamura and Satoko Fujii moved back from America. Since then the two have been breathing fresh life into their music. Fujiifs scores jump across jazz and rock to ethno and all others. Astonishment is still alive.h \ Masahiko Yuh, Asahi Newspaper

gUsing every inch of her pianofs keyboards and every nuance of his trumpetfs capabilities, Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura appeared at Café Metropol in Los Angeles to begin an extended tour in the name of avant-garde jazzc The duo shared their creative ideas through two extended sets for a rapt audience.h
\ Jim Santella, All About Jazz

gShe lands at the Metropol, Saturday, with her husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura. Together they engage in rewarding give-and-take exchanges.h \ Los Angeles City Beat

 gThese are two clearly creative and hyper-productive musicians who must never sleep!h \ Robert Iannapollo, All About Jazz

gFujii and Tamura have honed their empathetic rapport in a variety of settings over the past decade.h \ Troy Collins, All About Jazz

Chun (2008)

Honorable Mention \ Jazz Consumer Guide, The Village Voice
Best CD of the Year  ⎯ Wayne Zade, Jazz Tokyo
2008 Top 10 \ Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz
Must Have for 2008 \ Vallejonocturno
List of Excellent New Music  ⎯ Free Jazz (Japan)
Must Have \ Stef, Free Jazz

g**** Fujiifs orchestral technique, clear chromatic lines and gprepared pianoh devices contrast effectively with Tamurafs arsenal of extended techniques which he executes with a warm, vocalized tone throughout the trumpetfs full range.h \ Ted Panken, DownBeat

gHusband and wife duets, his trumpet warm and supportive, her piano stark and brash.h
\ Tom Hull, The Village Voice

gChun features the husband and wife in a program composed by Fujii that allows them to interact and let loose.h\ Richard Kamins, Hartford Courant

gThe music of Chun is adventurous, rigorous, and thoroughly engrossing. It's another irresistible outing by Fujii and Tamura.h  ⎯ Stuart Kremsky, The IAJRC Journal

gTrumpeter Natsuki Tamura and pianist Satoko Fujii work in a variety of ensemble configurations, but their duet discs are particularly enriching listening experiences.h \ Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

gAnother brilliant document in the growing discography of one of todayfs most important composers, Chun is a stellar document by two musicians whose sensitive interplay knows no bounds.h
 ⎯ Troy Collins, All About Jazz

gWhat sets this apart from a lot of modern eenergy musicf is the obvious fact that Tamura and Fujii are also engaged in an exercise in very deep listening. Musical thoughts come together as they construct a pulsing wall of sound, then attempt to smash it to bits.h  ⎯ Mark Saleski, Jazz.com

gWhen Satoko holds the pedal down, we hear layers of shimmering chords and feel like we are at the bottom of the ocean. On eInfrared,f the duo swirls quick lines of notes around one another mischievously. There is a consistent connection of spirits here as both musicians work perfectly togetherc Chun is yet another gem from the wonderful Fujii/Tamura team.h  ⎯ Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

gIn which Fujii gets in touch with her Yoko Ono side and expresses herself through her long running improv duo finding her piano working out against a trumpet as the two play, push, cajole and lock horns throughout.h
\ Chris Spector, Midwest Record

gPerhaps because theyfre involved in so many other projects, when they come back to the duo, it still sounds fresh and inventivec Therefs a lot of textural variety in these tracks as wellc an almost telepathic communication between these two when they are in a duet situation.h \ Robert Iannapollo, All About Jazz

gFujiifs music is a delicious mix of opposites: melody and pure sounds, intense energy and calm introspection, audible flowing structure and freedom, to name a few. There is joy, fearlessness and not a little humor in her performances, allowing them to be approached from any number of angles; she pours herself completely into every notec Chun opens up another viewpoint into the highly creative world of Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura.h  ⎯ Budd Kopman, All About Jazz

gFujii is as creative as ever with her compositions. The dynamics and pace hit extremes and the melodies are very challenging.h  ⎯ D. Oscar Groomes, Ofs Place

In Krakow, In November (2006)

New and Noteworthy \ Jazziz
Top Ten of the Year \ Bill Barton, Coda
Honorable Mention \ Tom Hull, Jazz Consumer Guide, The Village Voice
Top Duo Recordings 2007 \ David Adler, Lerterland

gThere is a whiff of sorrow or nostalgia in this music, but it is not at all dark; with every listening, new flavors emerge.h \ Shiro Matsuo, Music Magazine

gVery intelligent musicc I would go out and hear them.h \ Donald Byrd, Opening Chorus, Jazz Times

gFor their fans, the compositions are familiarc Here, however, they achieve new heights of expression. Melody and introspection are the keys to In Krakow. The title-track offers a haunting East European vision, with Tamura's playing showing a melancholy power reminiscent of Miles Davis's Lift To The Scaffold. eMorning Mistf is another Gato Libre piece, which here achieves a rapt impressionism. The album closes with eInorif, luminous and reflective.  Though her standards are high, there's something about this album's affecting intensity that puts it in the category of Fujii's very finest recordings.h  \ Andy Hamilton, The Wire

gTamura and Fujii reflect an even stronger Buddhist interest in creating stillness while moving with rhythmc it clearly points to new possibilities. Could there be in the performances by Tamura and Fujii some hints of new ways to reach the suppressed emotional buttons of our digital times? It seems likely.h
\ Chuck Graham, Tucson Citizen

gcthis is perhaps the nicest trumpet/piano duet album Ifve heard. Fujii and Tamura are partners, musically and personally, and it shows in this charming and well-balanced set. I donft intend to single out any particular pieces – theyfre all beautifully constructed themes that allow both players to improvise freely and with great skill and poisec It matches elegance with authority and artfulness with a capacity to seduce the listenerc An album that will continue to unfold its pleasures.h \ Duncan Heining, Jazzwise

gThe husband and wife team of Natsuki Tamura and Satoko Fujii continues to make giant strides in bringing avant-garde jazz to a wider audience. Their creative adventures recall the excitement wrought by AACM members such as Lester Bowie and Muhal Richard Abramsc Every interpretation comes as a brand new entity, at once fully explosive and rich with lyricism. Oftentimes, they both issue plaintive moans that sing like angels on high. Itfs up the listener to capture the essence with open ears. This one can be enjoyed by all.h
\ Jim Santella, All About Jazz

gFor the occasion, the duo elected to revisit a cross-section of their European folk-influenced pieces. Each song has carefully been re-thought as a piano/trumpet duet... In Krakow, In November offers a lulling evening listen, somewhere between Satie (eStrange Village,f and eMorning Mistf) and Lennie Tristano (eInori,f breathtaking). The approach may be of the less-is-more vein, but the music turns out to be heavy with feeling. In Krakow, In November is a natural follow-up purchase for those who have been seduced by Gato Libre.h
\ François Couture, All Music Guide

gNo matter their surroundings, from large scale big band sessions and aggressive, electronic, rock-influenced ensembles to intimate acoustic recordings like this one, they demonstrate a wealth of conversational acumen. Recorded at the radio studios of Radio Krakow, the married duo is captured up closer and personal, every subtle nuance caught on tape. In this unadorned, acoustic setting, Fujii and Tamurafs sublime interaction and loquacious dialogue embodies near telepathic perfection.h \ Troy Collins, Cadence

gIn Krakow, In November is a duo outing with just piano and trumpet, unadorned. Melody takes center stage, showcasing both Tamurafs and Fujiifs strengthsc With just the two instruments on this disc, we hear more of the pure essence of the compositions, revealing an engaging playfulness and often serene introspection, mixed with some of the characteristic Fujii/Tamura intensity.h \ Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

gIncessant touring schedules and a recorded output that rivals label contracts of the e60s can make the almost incessantly productive duo of Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura hard to keep up with. As such their duets can be seen as annual reports, an updating of where their various spokes are pointing. In Krakow, In November is a strong showing of their recent interestsc. Fujii and Tamura play beautifully together.h \ Kurt Gottschalk, All About Jazz New York

gThis one keeps growing on mec solidly built, powerful music.h \ Tom Hull, On the Web

gThe spouses Satoko Fujii and Natsuki Tamura do it again: and how! This CD is wonderful from beginning to endc This is modern jazz of the highest level, played by a couple that has an intimate musical relationship and perfect mastering of their instruments. Fantastic!h \ Stef, Free Jazz
gThe program features five Tamura originals and three by Fujii. The latter has begun to receive the widespread acclaim she so justly deserves for her compositions; Tamura is past-due for similar plaudits. Intimate, lyrical and passionate, In Krakow, In November is a must-hear.h \ Bill Barton, Coda

gPianist Satoko Fujii and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura make a fine team. They are back together for the first time in five years exploring tunes that were earlier recorded by their quartet projects. Fujii and Tamura bring a fresh perspective to each, divined by their ability to move past the obvious and pick up the unusual, which makes the CD a worthwhile listening experience.h \ Jerry DfSouza, All About Jazz

gFor those listeners not familiar with Fujiifs or Tamurafs music, In Krakow, In November could be the perfect introduction. Many pieces have a distinctly classical feel and clear harmony and structure, along with others that are quite free.h \ Budd Kopman, All About Jazz

gWe were able to appreciate the tones and feeling of each note with the more open soundstage of these two accomplished musicians.h \ D. Oscar Groomes, Ofs Place

Clouds (2002)

Top 10 CDs of 2002, William Minor, Coda

Top 10 CDs of 2002, Mike Chamberlain, Coda

gThis free-improv session for trumpet and piano is beautifully played and recorded, and recalls the monumental Kenny Wheeler/Paul Bley duets.  Tamura has worked to develop highly personal sound, employing various new techniques and tonal resources, including growls, flutters, squirts and split tonesc Itfs mysterious, haunting and startling, and these two know how to play the space between the notes.h \ Larry Appelbaum, JazzTimes

gSatoko Fujiifs creativity is mind-blowing. Her piano can sound as wild and fiery as Cecil Taylorfs, and it can sound as meditative as Ran Blakefs. Yet, really, she sounds like no one elsec eClouds is playful and quiet, making dramatic use of space.h \ Steve Greenlee, Boston Globe

gThroughout the interplay is exquisite; Fujii and Tamura offer unsentimental beauty, space, silence and humourc Proof that improvised music can be emotionally engaging as well as ear tickling, Fujii and Tamura give us six clouds, all with a solid silver lining.h \ Peter Marsh, BBC

gMusic seems to be the food of love for Tamura and Fujiic They are in harmony on this one as well, even thought most of it is free flowing and fueled by the tempest of their imaginations.h \ Jerry D'Souza, Coda

gIf you are a fan of the enduring spirit of jazz\inspiration through improvisation\this disc is for you.h
\ Michael Ryan, Boston Herald.

gca half-dozen beautiful compositions as protean and rarefied as their names imply.  Trumpeter Tamura is fascinating, playing in a style similar to Greg Kelley or Axel Dorner, while Fujii uses her prodigious classical chops in tasteful ways, working at the extremes of dynamics, space and pitchc This is extremely beautiful music, defined by its intelligence and risk.h \ Jason Bivins, Cadence
gThe encounter is at once intimate and abstract, threaded with an understated lyricism that helps lift the music to an uncharted peak of improvisation and interaction.  Grade: A.h \ Martin Wisckol, Orange County Register

gTheir performance is free from any conventional style and they are not hastening to form a conclusion.  It is based on the trust they have in each other, which is achieved through years of collaboration.  This is a lush duo.h  \ Yoshiyuki Kitazato, Ombasha

gc outwardly calm and beautiful, the music unfolds to reveal a complex and often turbulent structure withinc Avant-garde jazz has a rich history of less-is-more duets – John Coltrane and Rashid Ali, Cecil Taylor and Max Roach, and Bill Laswell and Peter Brotzman to name but a few.  Tamura and Fujii are a welcome addition to this lineage.h \ Ted Kane, JazzReview.com

gOn this album the two seem to draw images on a canvas that they create in the moment.  They exchange sounds created through well-honed senses which thrill the listeners.h \ Toshiaki Uemura, CD Journal

gThe balance of fast and slow motion in this soundscape is marvelous and it is attractive enough to capture the listeners' hearts within the first few seconds.  Even with a sparseness of notes they are able to let the listeners create their own images, which characterize this piece of work admirably.  The album is therefore dense in every part and the listeners will never get bored even with a lengthy, more-than-10-minute tune.h \ Satoshi Kojima, Strange Days

gEvery Fujii appearance, live or on disc, challenges her skills in a new contextc One of Fujiifs strengths is her sense of ease; she can write and perform in many stylesc Clouds is a far-out but easily approachable disc.h \ Steve Koenig, All About Jazz New York

 gClouds is an exceptional collection of creative jazz works featuring the best of Fujii and Tamura.h \ Lee Prosser, JazzReview.com

gIn the realm of the senses two imaginations entwine.  From that first fertile fabric comes sounds that elevate, startle and thrill.h \ Jerry DfSouza, All About Jazz

gcevery once in a while, one comes along that knocks your ears offc a very high quality venture beautifully blending fractured mainstream with fringe-abstract.h \ Marc S. Tucker, Exposé

gThe playing is marvelous and the complicity exemplary.h \ François Couture, All Music Guide

How Many? (1997)

 gTamura's trumpet caterwauls through the opening tune... Fujii serves as the ideal foil, with an intuitive sense of when to underscore or contrast Tamura's blowing. Their music catches you unaware, creating tension and intrigue.h  \ Marcela Breton, JazzTimes

gIf you turn up the volume and attune your antennae to the tonal and textural subtleties of Natsuki Tamura's trumpet and Satoko Fujii's piano, you'll hear a rare breed of mood-derived propulsion... Fujii's solo, 'Kaleidoscope,' recalls her delicate but salient lyricism...h \ Sam Prestianni, Jazziz

gFujii is above all a lyrical player, concerned not so much with momentum but with color, texture, and melody. Her playing exudes vulnerability and spontaneity, even as it possesses a great vitality. Tamura's is a similar sensibility. Though his playing is clearly and primarily jazz-based, he draws upon a variety of sources; he style evinces a certain familiarity with contemporary classical techniques... Together Tamura and Fujii construct perfect little structures; their collaboration is balanced, astute, and very musical. A lovely album.h \ Chris Kelsey, Cadence

gAnyone complaining about the lack of "something different" hasn't heard the music of Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii and her husband Natsuki Tamura. Their sounds are a potent mix of passion and calculated madness...Satoko...plays a percussive piano that first brings to mind Paul Bley (with whom she's recorded extensively, including the 1996 session, Something About Water)...h\ Rick Marx, Jazz Central Station

gReflective of human moods... It's an improv excursion you won't soon write off... stimulating and challenging... a quite intriguing listen. Recommended.h \ Dick Metcalf, Improvijazzation Nation

gCreating their own new jazz, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and Satoko Fujii, piano, treat us to 14 pieces of much merit, free-flow improvisation, too.h \ Jack Burke, Waxworks

gAn intriguing, if unsettling musical adventure... The blowing is free and robust, with an emphasis on maximum expressiveness by both players, in the tradition of the 1960s free jazz movement and its disciples. Fujii draws on European impressionists and the classical avant-garde as well as improvisational mentors like Cecil Taylor, Don Pullen, and Paul Bley... Tamura is an insane trumpet player... Weird, subterranean, hilarious, wickedly creative music.h \ Michael J. Williams, American Reporter

gShe approaches the instrument with an assertive hand and commanding determination, reeking havoc with her volatile infusions of thunder and lightening. Without notice, she shifts gears, changes direction, and sketches lovely ballad-oriented free sequencesc The music dovetails between extremes, generating thrilling emotional surges that shatter when Fujii allows the passages to freefall to subdued levels of placidity.h \ Frank Rubolino, Cadence


Exit (2004)

gExit is for the listener with the adventurous ear, a brilliantly executed set with a neon glow.h 
\ Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

"The music of Tamura on this album is very ambiguous in a good sense.  One doubts if there is any composition.  Actually, that doesnft matter and he rather takes advantage of such an anxiety and just lets his sound soar into the sky." \ CD Journal

gThis is a very adventurous release, one of the most interesting combinations of jazz and electronics Ifve heard.h \ Jon Davis, Exposé

gThere is considerable freedom exhibited by all four artists; each in turn contributes a plethora of exotic, barrier shaking effects to give the performance its otherworldly flavor. Boundaries keep being pushed with contributions such as this.h \ Frank Rubolino, Cadence

gThere are wonderful moments of meditative silence – such as those at the beginning of gEliminateh – as well as many long stretches of high-volume intensity.h \ Marc Medwin, Bagatellen.com

"Tamura controls the tone of his trumpet at will and he probably has entered the territory that no one has ever explored.  Tamura utilizes a lot of different effective devices but creates his music in an area that is completely isolated from the realm that Miles pioneered." \ Masahiro Imai, Musen to Jikken

 gThe quartetfs music . . . develops organically from within this framework, and can go anywhere from off-kilter funk, to atmospheric soundscaping, to understated contrapuntal interplay . . . great playing, and lots of musical risk-taking.h \ Dave Wayne, Jazz Weekly

 gTamurafs quartet succeeds in introducing new energy into improvised music . . . his latest dreamscape adventure remains for the truly creative soul in search of something altogether new.h     \ Jim Santella. All About Jazz

gTypical Japanese sentiments sprinkled here and there are as impressive as, or sometimes more impressive than, the exoticism of artists of the underground scenes of Chicago and Niels Petter Molvaer." \ Takehiro Oshizuka, Musee

Hada Hada (2003)

"Trumpeter Natsuki Tamura is a noisemaker, but a close listen to Hada Hada, his new disc, shows that there is much color and texture in his aural barrage." \ K. Leander Williams, Time Out New York

"Natsuki Tamura is a trumpet performer whose brilliance as a composer continues to develop into eclectic dimensions of imaginative creations.  Natsuki Tamura gives the jazz-listening audience a fine showcase of spontaneous improvisation, group interplay, world jazz themes, Japanese folk melody, and contemporary free jazz in Hada Hadac Natsuki Tamura at his finest.  Topnotch quartet performances, invigorating sounds and intimate surreal journeys await the jazz listening audience." \ Lee Prosser, JazzReview.com

"Imagine Don Cherry woke up one morning, found he'd joined an avant goth-rock band and was booked to score an Italian horror movie. It might be an unlikely scenario, but it goes some way to describing this magnificent sprawl of a record from Japanese trumpeter Natsuki Tamurac Hada Hada is a deeply compelling listen." \ Peter Marsh, BBC

"It's obvious that Tamura was going for something different with this releasec Hada Hada is a success."
\ Robert Iannapollo, Signal To Noise

"This collaboration between trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and his wife, keyboardist Satoko Fujii, is a rolling storm of sound, often beautiful but never placidc The music doesn't swing, it stomps." \ Phil Freeman, Wire

gOne weird and otherworldly noise-fest.h  \ Stuart Kremsky, Journal of the International Association of Jazz Record Collectors

"Tamura takes the energy of those electric fusion/funk discs and applies a tidal wave of punk aesthetic via synthesizer and guitarc Like Vulcan this music begs for volumec Tamura's amplified metal trumpet is enough to scare Miles off the stage at the Fillmore with his raging hardcorec satisfying on both visceral and cerebral levels." \ Mark Corrotto, All About Jazz

"Tamura is a fine jazz trumpeter, as well c This disc is a mad wash of Takayuki Kato's guitar and Fujii on synthesizer and trumpet delay with a hard bottom end, something like the vicious jazz of John Zorn's PainKillerc" \ Kurt Gottschalk, Squidsear

"Part of life's soundtrack over the past few weeks has been the work of Tamura and his partner, the pianist Satoko Fujii, with various collaborators.  An entirely life-enhancing experience. Now there is another slice of their prolific output to bring joy to the earsc It is without doubt one of the most exhilarating examples of electric jazz, if that's an adequate term, I've come across this year." \ Paul Donnelly, ejazznews.com

"The stormy album in monstrous in sound, demanding to be played at full volumec" \ Tom Schulte, Outsight, Ink 19

"This sounds like the end of the universe.  Or maybe it's the beginningc As a musician he (Tamura) is nothing if not adventurous.  His arsenal includes pain-wracked squeals and unearthly moans, but he is also capable of lyrical beauty and straight-ahead chopsc it pays to listen again, with a bit of volume, pleasec compelling." \ Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

"If you wish to hear something completely over the top, this disc's for you.  Grade 8 (out of 10)."          \ Mike Ryan, Boston Herald

"I've been a fan of Tamura's horn antics for many years nowc this CD is the most energetic "out" grouping I've ever heard him doc This is some of the most original playing we have ever heard; it gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED." \ Dick Metcalf, Improvijazzation Nation

"Jazz trumpeter Natsuki Tamura leads his space age, jazz-fusion quartet into an affair marked by echoing EFX, brash soloing, and numerous cosmic meltdownsc The quartet signals in notions what Miles was doing back in the early '70s with his electric, jazz/funk/rock fusion bands.  Yet, this outing is a bit more 'out there.'  Tamura has designed a highly entertaining, and neurotically enacted musical jamboree." \ Glenn Astarita, JazzReview.com

"Natsuki Tamura stimulates the memories of gBitches Brewh through his cool performances. In fact, his concept of selecting sounds to draw the pictures of the new world and constructing the whole piece out of the sounds in a melting pot created by the members without knowing where they are headed has something in common with that of Miles the king." \ Yoshiyuki Kitazato, Ombasya

"A sinister but at the same time refreshing album. The important thing is that the sinister mood is not
a vague creation of something like just a feeling, but a well-balanced, solid construction.h
\ Kazutomi Aoki, CD Journal

"Recorded in a public bath on Venus (if I am allowed to use such metaphor). Very refreshing pieces of music that are complete opposites of crafty ideas." \ Shiro Matsuo, Music Magazine


Forever (2012)

One of the Best CDs of 2012 \ Jazz Tokyo Editor's Choice
Best of 2012 \ John Payne, Bluefat
Best Notable Instrumental Releases of 2012 \ W. Royal Stokes
#1 Top 10 Releases of 2012 \ James Hale, Jazz Chronicles
Best Releases of 2012 \ Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz
Top Jazz CDs of 2012 \WMUA, Ken Irwin
Top 10 Releases of 2012 \ Ken Weiss, Rhapsody Critics Poll
Top 10 Releases of 2012 \ Michael Coyle, WRCU & Rhapsody Critics Poll
Top Albums for 2012 \ S. Victor Aaron, Something Else! Review
Petefs Pick of 2012 \ Pete Butchers, Jazz Today (UK)

gLandscape that the music portrays is entirely mysterious and profound.h ---Satoshi Kojima, Strange Days

g4.5 starscthe eight Tamura pieces on Forevercare filled with wistful bowed bass, bright guitar, and spectral accordion chordsch – James Hale, DownBeat

gAt times, Forever recalls the work ofcErik Satie and Bela Bartok, French bal-musette, Gypsy jazz, and 1980s Belgian darkwavecof Art Zoyd and Univers Zerocthese resemblances, it must be stressed, are completely unintentional.h – Dave Wayne, All About Jazz

 gc[Forever] is constantly evocative of long lost dayscin the fall looking out the window at a nature scene and wishing we were outdoors instead of cooped-up inside.h – Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery

gca beautiful landscapec space, timbre and above all, feelingc rife with conviction.h \ Marc Medwin, New York City Jazz Record

gThe groupfs music sounds like a stroll along a long-lost cobblestoned street...creating something thatfs not easily attached to any particular time or locale.h – James Heflin, Valley Advocate

 gThe sound is light and delicate, the atmosphere calm and meditative. Forever finds the groupfs interplay more focused and refined, more song-like and lyrical.h – Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

 gThe indefatigable duo brings a sense of exploration and lyricism to everything they do.h – Jazz Inside

gccomposition and improvisation seem to melt into onecinteraction, affinity, creativity , and intense listening are what make their music work.h – Amy Duncan, Jazz History Online

gThey remain eclectic, creative, and dynamiccForever has more rounded edges and a sense of calm that is inviting.h – D. Oscar Groomes, Ofs Place Jazz Newsletter

gThe sublime musicianship is not limited only to individual solos but it also runs strong in the ensemble workcthe languid and melancholic title track is a pair of diaphanous dialogues on a hot Andalucían summer afternoon.h – Hrayr Attarian, All About Jazz

gWith Gato Libre in general, Tamurafs exploration of the complete song has really reached some remarkable heights. Forever is no different.h \ Jordan Richardson, Something Else Reviews

gccneither jazz nor folk, music that strikes a surprising balance between emotion and distanciation.h – Francois Couture, Monsieur Délire

gcof all the jazz groups in Japan, I think Gato Libre stands right at the top of the heap.h \ Dick Metcalf, Improvijazzation Nation
gcfor the seekers of beyond the musical horizon, these albumscwill stimulate, confuse, anger, and beguile you.h – John M. Peters, theborderland.co.uk

gA strong sense of lyrical intensity coupled with a vivid imagination push the ensemble to perhaps its creative apex.h – Brent Black, Critical Jazz

gArt jazz all the way for those that like a challenge in their listening.h – Chris Spector, Midwest Record

gThe bandfs soft melancholy touch of European traditions, with a little Eastern mystery added to it, sounds recognizable and simple and sweet at the same time.h – Stef Gijssels, The Free Jazz Collective

gcthe musicians provide us with sublime moments, while showing us the versatility of accordion, guitars, bass, and trumpet as they play these instruments outside the box.h – The Whole Music Experience
gThe music played by this enigmatic quartet is definitely jazz but is hard to pigeonholecbass and acoustic guitar are also very prominent and work well in tandem, often their lines intertwining with the guitar adding a delicate folksier touch to the sound.h – Sea of Tranquility

 gThey engage in a series of compositionscthat sound rather folk-like (not necessarily specifically Japanese folk, but folk in a wider sense) and sometimes with a touch of minimalist mesmeric repetition.h – Gapplegate Music Review

Shiro (2010)

gA very fine set.  Tamura is clearly emerging as one of the finest contemporary musicians and writers to emerge from Japan.  His ability to conjure vivid colors and creates almost palpable textures on his horn is rapidly making for a new legend.h \ Raul dfGama Rose, All About Jazz

 gGato Libre has a unique sound, and the playing is rich and soulful, making this free cat a special pleasure.  Definitely recommended.h \ Stuart Kremsky, The IAJRC Journal

gThis is certainly the most consistent and varied Gato Libre disc thus farc.h \ Marc Medwin, Cadence Magazine

gA highly melodic, occasionally haunting set that draws on folk as well as jazz, played by a trumpet, accordion, guitar and bass quartet.h \ Jazz Journal

gTamura has produced sets as disparate as the electric sizzling Exit, the gentle and incantory solo disc Ko Ko Ko Ke, the radioactive Hada Hada and, with Gato Libre, a string of European folk musings including Shiroc Tamurafs career has largely been about dissolving musical boundaries.  With Gato Libre and Shiro, the trumpeter extends his reach even deeper into the prettiest, most accessible of his endeavors.h \ Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

gc one of the best albums of the year, one that will resonate equally well with fans of Balkan and gypsy music as well as adventurous rock and jazz people.h \ Alan Young, Lucid Culture

gPlaying in the Lester Bowie mode, he creates a very personal jazz statement, largely with just his trumpet voice front and center.h \ Chris Spector, Midwest Record

gTamurafs compositions and his lead horn form the centerpiece of this album.  He weaves melodies that retain a classic majesty even when they are stark, and within this mellow setting, he nevertheless inserts ideas that grab your attention.  Shira is a Latin-flavored avant garde jazz that soothes, not confronts, and offers a unique melding of differing styles.  Tamura proves once again why he has earned a reputation in improvised music circles as a top trumpeter, bandleader and composer.h \ Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews

g4-stars.  The music of Tamura and Gato Libre is sometimes surprising, often intense and always inventivec The sound is a combination of European folk, improvisational free jazz and expressive soundscapes.h \ Mike Reynolds, MuzikReviews.com

gTamura calls it a noise band, and we say it is good noise!  They play five of his original compositions starting with the title track that could easily serve as a score for a horror filmc IT is one of the more intriguing free sessions that wefve heard this year.h \ D. Oscar Groomes, Ofs Place Jazz Magazine

Kuro (2008)

Top 5 Instrumental Music CD  ⎯  Manabu Yuasa, CD Journal

Honorable Mention \ Jazz Consumer Guide, The Village Voice

gKuro fills the heart, while bringing tears to the eyes.h \ All About Jazz, Budd Kopman

gTheir music seems to emanate from many different parts of the planet and yet from none of them. I hear tango, flamenco, Eastern European folk melodies – all sorts of things – and yet no one song is a tango, is flamenco. This is what makes Kuro so attractive. It all sounds so familiar – Spanish? Italian? – and somehow you canft place its origins.h  ⎯ Steve Greenlee, Jazz Times

gPerhaps itfs the combination of Fujiifs accordion – which she plays exclusively here – and Kazuhiko Tsumurafs guitar, or the dance-like pacing of several of Tamurafs seven compositions, but Kuro sounds like it was made by a French or Eastern European band.h \ James Hale, DownBeat

gThey play music in a world filled with restrictions, conditions, and inconveniences. But they take the situation and turn it on its head, and play calmly like a gfree cath that slips through tough situations to live his own life.h \ Miho Watanabe, Ele-King

gWith his Gato Libre quartet, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura has succeeded in establishing a unique (and charming) group sound that still allows enough play room to avoid repetitioncKuro has its own charactercproof that Gato Libre is not just a passing fancy for Tamura or his zen vehicle to escape the hustle and bustle of the modern jazz world, but a viable artistic proposition rooted in simplicity and beauty.h \ Francois Couture, All Music.com

gcthe music matters, and it is excellent. While lyrical overall, it is also demanding in parts, though never too much so. Primarily, the music has a gypsy /flamenco feel, with some avant-garde touches. This is the most rewarding music I have heard during the first half of 2008.h \ Benjamin Franklin, Cashbox Magazine 
gTamurafs compositions range around and through many formsc If you enjoy any of these influences, it makes Gato Libre a recording you must go out and find.h \ Phillip McNally, Cadence

gNatusuki Tamurafs avant-folk quartet, with Kazuhiko Tsumurafs tart guitar and Satoko Fujiifs swaying accordion.h \ Tom Hull, The Village Voice

gAs the name of the band, efree catf suggests, they are a capricious, cosmopolitan brigade whose moves can never be anticipated.h  ⎯ Shinya Matsuyama, CD Journal

gTamurafs trumpet sound reaches far away and the music takes the listener into a labyrinth.h
\ Yoh Nakagawa, Mainichi Newspaper

gThe listenerfs ears are attracted to their reliable, sure musical technique. Their original aesthetic remains strong.h  ⎯ CD Journal

gWryly humorous and romantically elegant, Kuro is a unique pleasure for enterprising listeners.h
 ⎯ Mark Keresman, Icon

gThis is one of the best records Ifve heard of recent vintage, and I cannot recommend it more highly!h
 ⎯ Mikey IQ Jones, Downtown Music Gallery

 gThe exquisite melodies by Tamura melt and mix melancholy and humor and convey the air of a stateless harbor townc Tamurafs trumpet always sounds unsatisfied. The cat is like a painter, but never plays up to patrons. The music that seems like others but can never be found in others must have been born from the sigh and the laughter of the musicians who spend day and night in music.h  ⎯  Manabu Yuasa, Studio Voice

 gKuro seems largely intent in showing a varying picture of Tamurafs musical scopec This is a curious album, offering a varied menu of musical ports of call from around the world, and is not afraid to display the groupfs affinity for free jazz.h  ⎯ Michael P. Gladstone, All About Jazz

gI find Kuro bracing.h \ Jason Bivins, Signal To Noise

gHere he (Tamura) shows a gentler side, one that ministers to a warm, happy, fuzzy feeling with melodies that are downright lovelyc Kuro is another impressive release from Gato Libre.h \ Jerrry DfSouza, All About Jazz

gWith his Gato Libre quartet, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura has succeeded in establishing a unique (and charming) group sound that still allows enough room to avoid repetitionc This third album is proof that Gato Libre is not just a passing fancy for Tamura or his zen vehicle to escape the hustle and bustle of the modern jazz world, but a viable artistic proposition rooted in simplicity and beauty.h \ Francois Couture, All Music Guide

gThough the members of Gato Libre continue to play in other groups and each of them have been bandleaders of their own troupes, there is something very refined and special that happens when the members of Gato Libre come together. Kuro is a testament to that beauty.h \ Susan Frances, Jazzreview.com

gFrom jazz and folk elements, his modern world travelerfs approach to sound, and the bandfs particular instrumentation, Tamura has fashioned yet another in a seemingly endless flow of successful and varied releases.h \ Stuart Kremsky, IAJRC Journal

gBy mixing a seriousness of purpose with a floating rhythmic lightness and sound, and adding a good bit of humor, Tamura allows his music to be accessible, almost danceable, and yet rewarding intellectual investigationc Kuro fills the heart while bringing tears to the eyes.h \ Budd Kopman, All About Jazz

gIronic or not, the music oozes charm.h \ Art Lange, Point of Departure

gThe records keep getting better.h \ Kurt Gottschalk, All About Jazz New York

gFujii foregoes her piano to play accordion, which gives this group a bit of a European folk flair. I had passed on this earlier, but found it misfiled, put it on before I could look it up, and suddenly found myself hooked.h
 ⎯ Tom Hull, Tom Hull.com

gcso full of body/spirit that it captures me from the opener to the title track at the end of the album.h
\ Dick Metcalf, Improvijazzation Nation

gThis program is a highly accurate musical depiction of a series of events. It is yet another mode of free jazz emanating from Japan.h \ D. Oscar Groomes, Ofs Place

Nomad (2006)

2006 Top Pick \ Publisherfs Pick, All About Jazz

2007 Criticsf Top 10: New Releases \ Alain Drouot, JazzHouse/Jazz Journalists Association

gTamura has been working his colors into Fujiifs chaotic canvasses all along; here, his impression flowers.h
\ Tom Hull, The Village Voice Jazz Consumer Guide

gNomad, Gato Librefs second record, is even more gorgeous than the first...h \Kurt Gottschalk, All About Jazz

gNatsuki Tamura, the extraordinary Japanese trumpeter, gives a very personal response to European folk musics with this second album from Gato Libre, his quartet with his wife Satoko Fujii (now on accordion), Kazuhiko Tsumura (guitar) and Norikatsu Koreyasu (bass). This is Tamurafs music; his huge, mournful sound and sparse phrasing are consistently expressive, with Fujiifs equally un-showy accordion adding texture and colour to each performance, and Tsumura and Koreyasu deftly usedc the album is full of striking playing.h
\ Ray Comiskey, Irish Times

gNomad, the second full length from trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and co., is nothing if not elegant. Combining trumpet, guitar, accordion and bass, Gato Libre creates an all-acoustic sound that is both austere and, to borrow a song title from Nomad, as warm as Barcelona in Junec Tamura, of course, gets much of the solo space. His playing evokes the great trumpeter-explorers of the seventies – Miles Davis, Don Cherry and Mongezi Feza – yet he would never be mistaken for any of them.h \ Brent Burton, Jazz Times

gIt might be churlish to say that Fujii and Tamurafs new ensemble Gato Libre is their answer to Dave Douglasf Charms of the Night Sky. The languid pace, mournful lyricism, and the trumpet/accordion tandem are certainly elements the two groups hold in common.h \ Jason Bivins, Cadence

gThe trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, who composes all the material, is the real star, his ghostly, poetic sound filling the air with great beauty.h \ Philip Johnson, The Independent (London, UK)

gFor the most part Nomad succeeds in capturing individual citiesf eccentricities while wandering in unmapped territory.h \ Bruce Miller, Global Rhythm

gEvery one of the Quartetfs players understand each otherfs wants and needs and works on those. This is not about the gmeh, this is about gyouh session turns into a lyrical concerto. While Tamurafs trumpet sounds more majestically bold than ever before, guitarist Tsumura picks wildly through flamenco and dramatic blues and folk shifts. Bassist Koreyasu is afforded a great bounce-off opportunity as he plays some lovely passages with the guitarist. Fujiifs accordion sounds are mesmerizing in their clarity of purpose and purity of intent.h
\ Tom Sekowski, Gaz-Eta

gThe sleeve notes say Gato Libre means gStray (literally free) Cath, and the group consciously aim at a cooler ethos, though Tamurafs trumpet is lyrically beautiful and commanding.h \ Andy Hamilton, Wire

gNomad contains some of the most breathtakingly lyrical music in recent memory. Trumpeter Natsuki Tamura has a thorough command of brass technique and elsewhere has proved to be a true innovator in extended techniques, keeping the flame lit by the masters of avant-garde trumpet burning brightlyc The beauty of expressive depth of Tamurafs impressions is immediately captivating.h \ Bill Barton, All About Jazz, Seattle

gNatsuki Tamura and Satoko Fujii are two of the most fearless improvisers in jazzc Tamura wrote this music based on the folk idioms of European countries. He gets in to the pith of each, never losing sight of the core, to come up with entrancing and captivating compositions. The impact becomes all the more striking through the arrangements, which draw the listener into the transcendent fold of the music.h
\ Jerry DfSouza, All About Jazz

gFirst of all, you will be impressed by the distance in which Tamurafs trumpet can project its sound (toward the utmost ends of the earth, in this case). With this album, you could pleasantly feel as if his trumpet would blow you away to an unknown placec. They are mysterious guides for a spiritual labyrinth.h –You Nakagawa, Swing Journal
gNatsuki Tamurafs lyrical and subdued Gato Libre group wanders like a nomad through various parts of the world, capturing the essence of folk music and interpreting it through a jazz frame of reference. Itfs beautiful, acoustic music, and itfs evidence of the trumpeterfs creative power. This is impressionism at its bestc Accordion, acoustic guitar and acoustic bass make perfect companions for a program of folk music interpreted by creative people. Gato Librefs session is not only easy on the ears, itfs a refreshing trip that challenges the intellect and asks for repeated listening.h \ Jim Santella, All About Jazz
gNomad carries on in the same vein as its predecessor – dreamy and mysterious, gentle and straightforward, but with more assurance and a finer focus, featuring some of Tamurafs most lyrical and beautiful trumpet playingc It is impossible to say where Tamura will wander next, but itfll be well worth following this musical nomad, wherever that might be.h \ Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

Strange Village (2005)

Top 10 CDs of 2005 \ Randy McElligott, CHUO FM 89

gc a stunning departure from the artistfs typically intense, off-kilter stylec Lyrical and dynamic are the operative words, as the lead trumpet lines on the title track make clear with their south-of-the-border coupling of tenderness and passionc this extraordinary set ranks at the top of Tamurafs distinguished discography.h
 \ Sam Prestianni, Jazziz

gc a record of surprisingly soft and lyrical beauty that at times borders on flat-out impressionism.h  \ Rick Anderson, Notes

gIn his most accessible album yet, Tamura explores a range of folk-like themes and ensemble textures that resonate more with the Europe of the Balkans than Japan. Therefs a limpid simplicity, almost naivety, to his and the groupfs approach that draws the listener in, economically evoking the diverse moods and images suggested by the titles of his compositionsc Throughout hefs revealed as a remarkable trumpeter, individual, lyrical and dramatic. Gato Libre seems perfect for this aspect of Tamurafs varied musical personality.h \ Ray Comiskey, The Irish Times

gNow we can officially say there are two Natsuki Tamuras. The one playing angular jazz-rock or ferocious free improv (see Hada Hada or In the Tank) and the one writing simple melodies of stunning beauty (witness Ko Ko Ko Ke Ke Ke and this album). How the two of them live in the same body and breathe through the same trumpet might remain a mysteryc Tamurafs tunes owe a lot to Erik Satie, and gMorning Misth and gStrange Villageh could be never-before heard gGymnopediesh or gGnossiennesh cross-pollinated with New Tango and just a touch of Eastern European folk musicc Despite the impressive lineup, Strange Village is all about ensemble playing. Tamurafs compositions rely on tightness and balance between each part, something the quartet achieves effortlesslyc Pure delight.h \François Couture, All Music Guide
 gIn a fresh state of mind I could meet with their sound that carried some organic feel that would gently embrace the emptiness in my heart.  And I was surprisingly impressed how perfectly the title Gato Libre fit with this album.h \ Eichi Tomizawa, Jazz Life

gThere are moments in which the music sounds idyllic, and there are other moments in which it seems like a soundtrack of a horror movie.  They have a lot of sources to draw fromctheir performance is high level and the well-controlled sound of the trumpet is especially impressive.  There are unexpected improvisations or trades and I find these moments pretty interesting because I feel as if I am seeing iron hands in velvet gloves.h \ Tomohiro Nakayama, Swing Journal

 gWith Strange Village Tamura and the quartet have crafted a gorgeously straightforward – albeit mysterious and slightly surreal – sound. This musical journey proves his most accessible set to date.h \ Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

gIfm as much a sucker for a good CD cover as any, and Natsuki Tamurafs airy quartet, Gato Libre, has a simply enchanting painting of a marvelous black cat posing as they will at the foot of an old stone stairwayc Intriguing, and so is the music. Tamurafs slowly unraveling trumpet lines color the long-held accordion tones of Satoko Fujii, Kazuhiko Tsumurafs Spanish guitar, and Norikatsu Koreyasu's acoustic bass. Strange Village is very meditative, sly, and almost of an Eastern European folky atmosphere. I found myself thinking of the circuitous routes through a strange village which a cat might takec Itfs been a while since I heard something this different.h \ Kenneth Egbert, Jazz Now
gEvery so often a record comes along from an established artist that makes one reassess his or her accomplishments. The initial document from the Japanese quartet Gato Libre is such a releasec While the majority of the music swims the seas of tranquility, the quartet does kick up sand every so oftenc At first blush, this record might be considered too saccharine for many tastes, but it is rich in its melodic aims and surprisingly captivating. Indeed, Strange Village is proof that Tamura and Fujii and truly multi-dimensional artists. \Dennis González. One Final Note

gCapturing the essence of folk music, Natsuki Tamura creates an acoustic session on Strange Village that lets him tell the stories vividly and completelyc Each tale comes with rounded textures that belie humble surroundingsc Gato Librefs free association over timeless textural territory gives this highly recommended album a warm embrace. Tamurafs open trumpet seals it. His quartet has found a formula that connects the music of our ancestors with the freedom that we enjoy in the freedom that we enjoy in todayfs modern society.h \ Jim Santella, All About Jazz


Cut the Rope (2010)

gAnd then we have Cut the Rope, the craziest (and best) of the batch. The quartet, called First Meeting, includes drummer Tatsuhisa Yamamoto and electric guitarist Kelly Churko, who buzzes and scrapes when he isnft playing chords. Itfs a noisy, free, impatient album, and ranks among Fujii and Tamurafs most accomplished.h \ Steve Greenlee, Boston Globe  
gCut the Rope is a wild ride through five genuinely noisy and trippy soundscapesc. This crew will keep you happy as you wonder where theyfre headed next.h \ Stuart Kremsky, The IAJRC Journal

gSuppose 70s Lou Reed met up with 70s Miles Davis and the two of them decided to have a live board game.  The crème of the Japanese jazz progressive underground team up herec.h \ Chris Spector, Midwest Record

 gTrumpeter Natsuki Taura creates a vast expanse of sound on Cut the Ropec This is a short, eventful set, expertly construed by Tamura, where brilliant sound collages are erected with architectural expertise and a subtle elegancec. a sonic journey full of surprises.h \ Raul dfGama Rose, All About Jazz

 gcdevotees of noise and vigorous free jazz around the world would find this hard to walk away from.h \ Alan Young, Lucid Culture

gRevel in the sparse but intricate textures of eHeadwatersf in which Fujii draws gorgeous Cagean textures from inside the piano; the bells and their long decays set everything else in stark relief.  Tamurafs low-register gutturals are equally effective. The title track seethes and snarls, somehow retaining welcome transparency as the wall of noise rises and thickens.h \ Marc Medwin, Cadence

gThe title track is wild and unrelenting noise, evolving from utter chaos towards an increasing intensity of such a level that it becomes strangely compellingc this duality between attraction and repulsion, between familiarity and utterly new sonic experience works wellc Weird, strange things happen here, but they are worth listening toc It is great stuff for people with very open ears. Keep listening!h \ Stef Gijssels, Free Jazz

gThe four take on five Tamura compositions that are highly fragmented experiments in alien intonations: Tamura wails, snarls and blurts, Churko scratches and skitters, Fujii alternately rains down scary notes and makes chime noises. Yamamoto uses seemingly every piece of object near him to rattle on. The composite sound confronts preconceptions about what music is and using these musicians' advanced artistry to work off of base instinctsc.For some forward-thinking artists, taking chances is part of their overall musical approach. For First Meeting, taking chances is the overall approach. And on Cut The Rope, they manage to land on their feet every time.h \ Victor Aaron, Something Else!

gVoilà, FIRST MEETINGcbetween Impro noise and JapaNoisec at the edge of dreams, the trumpets always pressing alarm actually creates a free space for the more delicate... musical geniuses, silver whirring, brightly blinking and languishing.  Insanity!h \ Bad Alchemy

gcturn the traditional jazz quartet format on its head.h \ Jazzwise


White & Blue (1999)

"Writer's Choice 2000: Top 10 CDs" \ Jerry D'Souza, Coda

gSatchmo sang through his trumpet and Tamura also seems to try to create a style which doesn't necessarily isolate the playing of his instrument from the uttering of his own voice.h \ Yoshiyuki Kitazato, Ombasha

"A trumpeter and two drummers might not be your usual trio format, but this threesome makes it work.  Percussionists Jim Black and Aaron Alexander rumble, rattle, tap and scrape along on Tamura's expressive journeys across sonic landscapes not found on most maps." \ S.D.  Feeney, Face Magazine

"What is most striking is not simply the high level of interaction, but the sense of sound as ceremony."
\ Stuart Broomer, Coda

"Acting as a creative concerto, this piece works as a whole, and requires a complete listen." \ Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide

"Adventurous listeners should...turn their ears to 'White & Blue'... Tamura has added his name to those anything-for-a-sound improvisers like Evan Parker and Derek Bailey." \ Ken Waxman, Jazz Weekly

"On this CD [Tamura] tackles the duo format with a fine percussionist and clearly presents his extraordinary sense of rhythm.  He also seems to cherish the rhythmic sense that is characteristic of Japanese language.  In his performance, I hear something in common with Joruri (the music of Bunraku) or Japanese traditional folk or dance music." \ Toyoki Okajima, Jazz Critique

"Relying on a minimalist instrumentation (trumpet, sundry percussion and drums), composer Natsuki Tamura is interested in filling space not only with free jazz excursions but also with textural sound bytesc this disc will appeal to free jazz enthusiasts." \ Jeff Melton, Exposé

Natsuki Tamura with Elliot Sharp, Takayuki Kato, Dareya

In the Tank (2005)

 gTop 10 for 2005cAn indefinable droning mishmash of sounds that feels like a young universe struggling to swirl itself into a semblance of order.h \ Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

gThink AMM meets blues guitar meets 1970s Miles Davis and you get some idea of the discfs flavor: a slow-moving panorama for the ears, where sounds are systematically added, repeated, refined, and replaced in turn.h \ Nate Dorward, Cadence

gcThe range of effects and speed of transition are breathtaking: between the first haunted scratches, and the final withered exhalations this triumphant electro-acoustic adventure never settles in any idiom for more than a moment, and never becomes boringc Astonishingly, this is the first meeting between downtown New York icon, [Elliott] Sharp, and these three mainstays of the Japanese free scene. Letfs hope itfs not the last.h \ Daniel Spicer, Jazzwise

gReally one 68-minute improv, the CD is divided into four tracks that should be listened to as a whole. Mixing the trumpeterfs bravura expressiveness and the techniques of the two guitarists who can replicate bass and percussion timbres, this is no laid-back jam session. It does have a particular shape however, with introductory passages and an elongated coda, both linked with the individualist playing of Tamura. Instructively, with all the dissonant, near-ghostly tones exhibited, In the Tank also implies traditional Japanese texturesc at several juncturesc this impressive, ever-shifting performance suggests a repeat should soon be in order.h \ Ken Waxman, Jazz Weekly

 gGuitarists Takayuki Kato and Elliot Sharp are front and centre in this beautifully recorded four-track free improv session. Katofs cornucopia of altered and looped sounds give his cohorts a sonic landscape in which to let loose. Pianist/composer Fujiic is a wellspring of rhythmic motifs that act as a catalyst, by turns prodding, pulling, and pummeling. Trumpeter Tamurac splurts, splats, arcs and angles, deftly weaving his bell-like clear tome into the tapestry pf electronic soundsc In the Tank is a recorded document that bears up under repeated listenings. g \ Glen Hall, Exclaim Magazine

 gc the colors of Tamurafs soundscape are more saturating than overpowering, which makes the occasional veering into pensive melody all the more effective. Still, this is challenging music. \ Point of Departure  (online music journal)

 gc [a] challenging exploration of dissonance, microtonality and space.h \ John Stevenson, ejazznews

 gIn a drifting and amorphous way, the sound on In the Tank feels as elemental as a delta bluesc But much like some of Miles Davisf output in the late seventies the question of exactly which instrument is making what sound hovers over the proceedingsc through the interludes of rock structures, blues shadings, jazz moments, and classical electro sound washes, a feeling of underlying structure and detached watching-the-events-from-above serenity remains. Itfs best to suspend expectations here – that can be said for just about everything Tamura is involved inch \ Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz



Duo --- Natsuki Tamura(tp),
Gato Libre --- Natsuki Tamura(tp), Dareya(acc), Kazuhiko Tsumura(g), Norikatsu Koreyasu(b)
First Meeting --- Natsuki Tamura(tp), Dareya(p), Kelly Churko(g), Tatsuhisa Yamamoto(d)

Concert review

Gato Librec.Tamurafs trumpet sound that reaches far away and the music that cannot name which countryfs take the listener away to labyrinth.h

First Meeting by noise improvisation has got Nels Cline as a guest from America. Fujiifs beautiful piano sound that has strength stands out between menfs self-assertion exchange.h

In any case, Tamura and Fujiifs ability that can fit in any scene must be really something. Their musical backbone is upright but they play by ear like nomad.h
---Mariko Okayama, Jazz Tokyo

CD gShiroh
gEven Tamura plays simple melody, it doesnft sound like easy listening music that only cares listenersf taste because it comes through his real musicianfs earsc.Since the melody is so simple he uses a lot of complicating ornament that cannot be heard from ordinary trumpet play. Once you follow his simple line that plays melancholic melody, you would convince how he is excellent with melisma. Probably his unique improvisation diction was born from out of it. This is the one listeners can be satisfied with its depth of the instrumental sound.h
---Yoshiyuki Kitazato, omba

gMy favorite trumpet player in the world is Natsuki Tamurac.I am totally satisfied with his play without listening to other trumpet playersc.
His play sounds some times very holy like Koran other times like gag like comedy, some times very technical other times very low and husky like trombone sound, but never bothers other voices. It is very stoic but is also no strain. In the same era, and in Tokyo, it is miracle to meet such his voice that has extreme two endsc.
gGato Libreh means free cat. It is not easy to use the word, gfreeh in such an era. I am sure they donft get greal freeh (if there is something like it). They play music in this world where we all live that has a lot of restriction, conditions, and inconvenient. But they take the situation and turn it on its head, and play calmly like gfree cath that slips through the tough situation and live their own lives. c.the quiet melody and ensemble that is born from this band sounds very earnestly. The band sounds nostalgic and healing on the first sight, but the other hand it sounds one of the most critical music in the world to me.h 
---Miho Watanabe, Ele-King

CD gCut The Ropeh

 gTheir created space became the illusion that exceed the dimension and stick the listenersf brain stem.h
---Eichi Tomizawa, Jazz Life

 gTheir experienced ability can be listened. c.it is real human dialog, not a complete inorganic space, not a consecutive screaming, not extreme tension. It is fun 65 minutes that takes joyful air.h
---Shiro Matsuo, Musicmagazine

gThe drumming that surges like tsunami and Avant-Garde electric guitar fit unexpectedly. Fujii plays impressive refrain, and Tamurafs thunderous trumpet cuts in.h
---Seiichiro Matsunaga, CD Journal

gTheir play changes instantly as planned is like a looking at kaleidoscope. Their music structured mainly by rhythm floats and immediately disappears in sea of noise. c.by their new sense that create elastic noise sound the music is open not only to the direction of free improvisation, and it is so fresh.h
---Yoshiyuki Kitazato, omba 

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