Helen Sung Jazz @ Jack's 2014 Craft Brewers Conference Denver, CO April 9, 2014 Astaire and Rogers; Bogart and Bacall; Sponge Bob and Patrick... The entertainment world is full of classic pairings. Wednesday night's classic pairing was jazz and craft beer. Dropped in the middle of the 2014 Craft Brewers Conference in jny: Denver, pianist Helen Sung, affiliated with North Coast Brewing Company, put together a virtuoso quintet to match the virtuoso beer on tap. A graduate of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, Sung naturally plays some of the ...read more
There's a bit of the iconoclast in pianist Helen Sung. Her musical journey began in the classical world, and didn't take its rebellious tangent into jazz until her college years, after a chance encounter with a Harry Connick, Jr. concert, in a bang on the piano" solo interlude. And then there was pianist Tommy Flanagan's solo on saxophonist Charlie Parker Confirmation," and Sung was jazz bitten, in the best way. Anthem for a New Day, Sung's sixth album--her first on Concord Records--represents a full blossoming of Sung's talents--as a pianist, band leader, arranger and writer. Not ...read more
Pianist Helen Sung has got the swing thing down. A graduate of the inaugural class of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, Sung has put out a series of increasingly distinctive CDs, from her ear-grabbing debut, Push (Blue Moon, 2004), to the classical leaning Sungbird (After Albeniz) (Sunnyside, 2007), through to 2010's quintet outing, Going Express (Sunnyside), with a trio stop for the outstanding Helenistque (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2006).A classically-trained pianist who didn't discover jazz until her college years, Sung's conversion to improvisation and swing must certainly have required enormous drive and effort, but it has ...read more
Helen SungDizzy'sSan Diego Wine and Culinary Arts CenterSan Diego, CASeptember 15, 2011 From post World War II through the 1970s, what is now called San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter," centered on 5th Avenue in the in the city's downtown, was a neon-lit area of beer bars dives, pornographic theaters, massage parlors, unseemly strip clubs and a variety of greasy spoons catering to the town's young sailors. San Diego was, and is, a Navy town. But in the early 1980s, the interest in refashioning and sprucing up the area blossomed into action. An unseemly blight ...read more
Whether an artist is performing in a play or playing music, doing so live onstage is one of the most challenging acts. Every nuance is captured by an eager audience and, in the case of Going Express, a sensitive sound engineer. There is no room for error; every slip can be fatal. Pianist Helen Sung makes short work of these concerns, however, navigating the music in spritely fashion and with the delicate touch of slender fingers like feathers on the weighted keyboard. Going Express is a dramatic turnout, and features a fine ensemble that includes bassist Lonnie Plaxico, drummer Eric ...read more
Helen SungDizzy's San DiegoSeptember 23, 2010 Helen Sung came to jazz relatively late, during her classical music studies at University of Texas at Austin. After listening to Houston-bred and now New York-based pianist Helen Sung perform at Dizzy's in San Diego, it's hard to imagine her as a classical player, where precision and perfection of technique and adherence to the traditions sit up much more front and center than they do in jazz.Sung and her quartet, touring in support of the pianist's Going Express (Sunnyside Records, 2010), swung hard and well, explored freedom ...read more
Pianist/composer Helen Sung could have played it safe. After offering up two fine straight ahead jazz outings-- Push (Blue Moon, 2004) and Helenistique, (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2006), the expectation was more of the same." And that would not have been a disappointment. Though the New York based artist came to jazz late--during her college years, after early studies in classical music--she came out swinging sweet and lovely on those first two discs.With Sungbird (After Albeniz), the artist takes off on a different tangent, returning, to an extent, to her classical roots. Sung performs Spanish pianist/composer Isaac Albeniz' ...read more
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