FRIDAY

“I think I use the Japanese sense of space and silence—which we call ma—in my music,” says pianist Satoko Fujii (pictured) from Tokyo. “If you listen to Japanese improvisers, you will find many of them have a similar sense of space.” Fujii’s sense also comes from one of her teachers: Paul Bley, master of the subtle phrase. But Bley and Fujii share little when it comes to playing styles, despite blending beautifully on Fujii’s 1996 debut, Something About Water. Fujii often plays aggressively, sounding like a mixture of Don Pullen and Cecil Taylor, especially on the kinetic CDs featuring her in sextet (Past Life), trio (Looking Out of the Window), and a grab bag of small-ensemble settings (Kitsune-bi). The restless Fujii has just released her second big-band CD: Jo features her New York City-based 15-piece orchestra (including her husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura), and the soon-to-be-released Double Take is a two-CD set featuring one disc by the Yanks and one by Fujii’s Japanese orchestra. Japanese culture developed “by getting many things from China, so [it] is very malleable,” Fujii says in explanation of her willfully diverse ways. “It can get many other cultures in it and digest them easily. Because of that character, it is not so difficult to mix up with other cultures. In that way, I think it is kind of similar with jazz.” Fujii and Tamura perform solos and duets at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 10, at the Freer Gallery of Art’s Meyer Auditorium, 12th and Independence Avenue SW. Free. (202) 357-2700. (Christopher Porter)