This is only the second recording of the KAZE quartet, though the quartet sounds as if these four musicians have been playing and known each other for many years. The quartet members have formed an immediate bond and imaginative communication, in studio, on stage and off stage, but there is more to the picture. Each of them, individually and together as a powerful unit, are gifted storytellers. The five compositions on Tornado tell us enchanting, fascinating and bewildering stories.
The stories that pianist Satoko Fujii, trumpeters Natsuki Tamura and Christian Pruvost and drummer Peter Orins wish to tell us are not ones that aim for simple, straight ahead narratives. These complex, multi-layered stories divert into many side alleys, full of weird distractions and exotic, amusing surprises. But these stories manage to keep the tension throughout and seize our imagination.
The five compositions – penned by Tamura, Orins and Fujii, reveal their many secrets after repeated listenings. First these compositions bewitch you with their level of intense and focused energy, the imaginative and commanding musicianship, and, obviously, the infinite musical vocabulary. Then you are tempted to learn more about the raging and dramatic interplay, to understand the extended breathing techniques of Tamura and Pruvost, maybe even attempt to reconstruct a coherent sequence of sonic events. But again and again you find yourself surrendering to these exceptional and arresting musical stories, adopting their unique, intuitive perspectives.
These elaborate compositions-stories succeed to penetrate into our inner souls, to hold our attention and expand our imagination because they are so vivid and true. They tell us something profound about the most honest commitment to art, the responsibility of an artist to communicate her or his art with passion; to move and motivate us with this art and to reconnect us with our often repressed thoughts and desires; asking us to be alive, now, in this moment, to fully enjoy this most inspiring and beautiful music.