Such a virtuoso parade of formidable authority and delicacy…

Ayler Records CD: ayl-CD175

Satoko Fujii, piano; Otomo Yoshihide, electric guitar

Recorded at the Pit Inn, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan, on January 10, 2022

Though prolific musicians, each in their own right, this is their first work as a duo.  They are noted as two of the most significant and commended artists in new, Japanese music: it is not surprising that they should decide to play together.  Emerging in the 90s, their decades of practice have generated fully articulate styles and reveal confidence in their playing and their commanding musical personalities.  Perpetual Motion’s reach is extensive and the duo’s approach ever obdurate.  They and their music are brimming with surprises.

The title of the album suggests a theme for the duo’s approach and it’s true that this music doesn’t stand still, nor in fact do the musicians. They listen, contemplate and respond to each other at warp speed and with the intensity one comes to expect of true improvisors, playing off each other with paralleled passion and profundity.  Her piano and his guitar seem similarly attuned, as at times they sound as if they have swapped personalities, or that at least there really only has been one instrument present. Such a virtuoso parade of formidable authority and delicacy outlines the presence of both astonishing musical fecundity and technical aptitude.

The result is that the duo has demonstrated that the techniques often used in producing freely improvised music are not an end in their selves but are employed in the production of music which has a different well for its source, a different inclination and ultimately, a different kind of comprehension.

Reviewed by Ken Cheetham