“«Nomad» is the second album of Natsuki Tamura’s acoustic quartet Gato Libre. The first CD “Strange Village” was released in 2005 on Libra Records in Japan and got very good reviews all over the world. "The atmosphere is lyrical and mostly subdued. “Welcome Party,” with an Eastern European celebratory mood, and “Dance,” with an insistently shimmering rhythm and riveting accordion/guitar interplay, both turn up the heat. But it's a lilting, ephemeral heat, like bright sunshine on a late autumn day. A lesson I have learned from listening to Tamura's discography is to expect the unexpected. From the radioactive “Hada Hada” (Libra Records) to the floating, soft-edged “Ko Ko Ko Ke” (Polystar Co), he proves himself an artist completely unafraid of changing directions and taking risks. With “Strange Village” Tamura and the quartet have crafted a gorgeously straightforward albeit mysterious and slightly surreal sound. This musical journey proves his most accessible set to date".
(Dan McLenaghan, All About Jazz)
“Capturing the essence of folk music, Natsuki Tamura creates an acoustic session on “Strange Village” that lets him tell the stories vividly and completely. Through open trumpet, guitar, bass, and accordion, he communicates tales that stir the imagination and let the listener interpret accordingly. Each tale comes with rounded textures that belie humble surroundings where people know that they can feel at home. Slowly and deliberately, the music walks you through the streets and welcomes you with open arms. Tamura's soulful trumpet opens wide as he improvises over pretty melodies. He emphasizes passion without being overbearing about it. The focus for the album remains its casual four-part message that roams free as a bird (or cat). Each artist pours heartfelt emotion into the cauldron that represents Tamura's tale, and the mixture heats up from within. Stress? This village has none. Its music simmers peacefully on the shoulders of Tamura's open horn, Satoko Fujii's soothing accordion, Kazuhiko Tsumura's crystal-clear guitar, and Norikatsu Koreyasu's proud bass. Together, they create a picture of serenity and unity. Celebrations come and go as the quartet explores free jazz with timeless sonority. Gato Libre's free association over timeless textural territory gives this highly recommended album a warm embrace. Tamura's open trumpet seals it. His quartet has found a formula that connects the music of our ancestors with the freedom that we enjoy in today's modern society".
(Jim Santella, All About Jazz)
“Every so often, a record comes along from an established artist that makes one reassess his or her accomplishments. The initial document from the Japanese quartet Gato Libre is such a release. This group collects guitarist Kazuhiko Tsumura and bassist Norikatsu Koreyasu with husband and wife team extraordinaire, trumpeter and leader Natsuki Tamura and accordionist Satoko Fujii, the latter team proving quite astounding in their unexpected roles (this is Fujii’s first release focusing on accordion). Over the past decade plus, both Tamura and Fujii have built reputations as vibrant composers and players, often enthralling listeners with spirited compositions and uncompromising improvisational sparks. Those expecting fireworks will be quite surprised by “Strange Village” and its ten-song program firmly committed to exploring lovely folk melodies over quietly unfolding terrains: think Dave Douglas’ chamber works or others of the ilk. What also makes this appealing is that for the most part, it is truly a group project with equal contributions from each player. At first blush, this record might be considered a bit too saccharine for many tastes, but it is rich in its melodic aims and surprisingly captivating. Indeed, “Strange Village” is proof that Tamura and Fujii are truly multi-dimensional artists.”
(Jay Collins, One Final Note)