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Double Duo: Crossword Puzzle

Artist: Satoko Fujii
Double Duo - Satoko Fujii - Crossword Puzzle CD
Label: Libra
Regular Price: $18.95
On Sale For: $9.48 
Year: 2007
Format: CD


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Trumpeter Angelo Verploegen writes in the liner notes to his Double Duo's disc Crossword Puzzle that when Amsterdam's Bimhuis invited him to put together a new group, Fujii and Tamura were his immediate choice to mirror a duo of himself and pianist Misha Mengelberg. Mengelberg leads the much-heralded ICP Orchestra and his playfulness and love of Thelonious Monk makes for an intriguing balance against Fujii's Paul Bley-mentored touch. For better or worse, the set comes off as what it is: an off-the-cuff meeting, with a good bit of cautious feeling-each-other-out and a few moments of magic. The first track, "a butterfly, bee, mantis and grasshopper", clocks in at over half an hour and is aptly named; while being quite musical, it has the feel of four different insects buzzing around each other, not sure what to make of the jar they're trapped in. The shorter second track, "a prescription", might be taken to be the group finding itself. It opens with a speedy piano duo, then slows down to Mengelberg playing choppy chords and Fujii finding a melody within. The trumpets don't come in until the fourth of the track's 10 minutes, at which point the group seems to have found a bit more of a center. All in all it's a fun disc, but when the group is comprised of composers as engaging as Fujii, Mengelberg and Tamura, it's hard not to want more.
Angelo Verploegen (trumpet); Misha Mengelberg (piano); Natsuki Tamura (trumpet); Satoko Fujii (piano)
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