Fu-kyo-chi-in – a Japanese Jazz Trio

Below is the only review I’ve written which I’m anything like content with, and even then I wish it was much better. But the trio seem to have liked it because they have it on their website. I wrote my review very quickly just after hearing/seeing them perform for the first time, because their last performance in Edinburgh was the next day and I wanted to try to persuade any people who might have been thinking of seeing them that it was very likely to be worth it. (If they read the Edinburgh Fringe website.) I went back to hear the trio the next day, and they were as good as when I first heard them. In the audience was a man I recognised as also having been there the previous day. So I asked him why he’d come back, and he said that he thought his girlfriend should hear them, and he didn’t mind hearing them again.

They have a CD which I recommend for those who like modern jazz, and I’ll shortly append to this post some thoughts on one of the tracks on the CD: “Angel Eyes”. I can imagine somewhat different performances of the song being as good as Fu-kyo-chi-in’s performance. But I can’t imagine them being better than their performance.

Having a sense of when to be cautious is very useful. After writing the previous paragraph I searched for the lyrics to “Angel Eyes”, and discovered that Ella Fitzgerald had sung this. There’s a video on YouTube: she (unsurprisingly) is very good, and is very different from Fu-kyo-chi-in. But my previous paragraph is still true.


Edinburgh Fringe show: FU-KYO-CHI-IN – reviews

***** Very good modern jazz – 11 Aug 2006
reviewer: Colin Bartlett, United Kingdom

From the festival brochure description I was expecting gentle new age inoffensive music which would be only mildly interesting. Within 5 seconds I realised I was very wrong, and after the first two numbers, I had tears in my eyes because the musicianship was so good, and from the very enthusiastic applause at the end (the performance was continuous without any breaks, although they performed 7 or 8 standards, including Gershwin’s It Aint Necessarily So) the rest of the audience shared my view. There was some gentle playing: for example, the opening of Tea for Two was sung slowly and very touchingly, but there was then a faster dynamic middle section. At times there was a huge rhythmic drive to the music, at other times a loose free jazz approach, but always there was expert musicianship. They performed at last years festival, you still have an opportunity to hear them on Saturday 12th at 4pm, and if they are at the 2007 Edinburgh Festival then I for one will be there.


About Colin Bartlett

I'm interested in arts, mathematics, science. Suliram is a partial conflation of the names of three good actors: Ira Aldridge, Anna May Wong, and another. My intention is to use a personal experience of arts to make some points, but without being too "me me me" about it. And to follow Strunk's Elements of Style. Except that I won't always "be definite": I prefer Niels Bohr's precept that you shouldn't write clearer than you think.
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