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Live Reviews

Alec Haavik Friction Guzheng: Fusion With A Chinese Flair

By Published: December 20, 2009
K: This is the first time I played jazz. Before this performance I did not have much exposure to jazz, but for the performance, I listened to a lot of jazz. This music makes me sway and is completely different from what I played before. Previously, I've played experimental music. I have a girl rock band in which I play guitar (indiepop, dreampop, and a Radiohead vibe), and of course Chinese traditional, which is the required curriculum. My teachers would be all over me for how I played tonight (laughs). But I like it very much. I will continue to pursue jazz as a new genre. I never thought to listen to jazz before, but when I came across Alec's music, I felt that it was something I wanted to get to know. In the future, I hope to compose more music that includes guzheng in jazz.

After the performance, Haavik mentioned that his favorite moment was in "Exotic Wall Burger." He explained why:"Because Kuriko suggested a new scale to use for the improvisation that really captured the mood of the song and gave us a nice domain to play in. There was a lot of timidity on everyone's part but it was the one moment when the guzheng and sax blended together perfectly and melded into one voice." He added that he is looking forward to incorporating guzheng and other Chinese instruments into his work, especially within the jazz rock opera that he's currently working on for 2010.

Haavik pushed the envelope tonight: not only with his sax, but with Alec Haavik Friction Guzheng's arrangements, inviting an eclectic mix of instruments to extend beyond what ears normally hear. The audience seemed to really dig it, which is good because audiences want to see more nights like this in the future— original tunes with an edge.

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Download jazz mp3 “Cruise Control ” by Alec Haavik