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Fantastic interview, Ian! I love where Cuong Vu is coming from, both with Metheny's group, (I hope there's still more of that to come), and his own stuff.
Vu's current music is tremendously personal; The Metheny CDs and tours were certainly interesting, but I'd prefer he continues doing his own stuff. The results these last few years have been very exciting. Also, the musicians he has helped and encouraged through his teaching at the University of Washington, Seattle, are a breath of fresh air too. If you haven't already, check out Speak - great debut recording!
Wow, that is a fantastic article. Great interview, nice pictures to enhance the article, and references to labels and bands and albums to check out. Can't ask for much more. Thank you both Cuong and Ian.
And I have to agree that the Seattle jazz scene, from this outsider's point of view, looks to be as strong as anywhere. I am seeing a ton of new releases this year that have musicians listing a Pacific Northwest zip code.
And as an aside, while nothing has been set up yet, I intend to feature some tracks from the Table & Chairs label mentioned in this interview as part of the AAJ download of the day.
Thanks for the kind words Dave, glad you liked the piece. I look forward to listening to these Table & Chairs downloads - good job yourself.
A great interview with one of the artists that understands the creative process and its relationship to community and culture in a way that is very rare. One of the single most important documents I have read on the necessity of understanding creativity and the need to move it forward and not be paralyzed by the respect we have for it. If a young aspiring creative artist would like to learn what is most important about creativity, it's history and future, then reading Cuong Vu's words until you truly "get it", however long that might take, is necessary in a very big way. I believe Cuong Vu is one of our most important and critical creative mentors today and Mr. Patterson, you did a great job in bringing that out of him. Great job!!!
And good luck to the students and musicians who I have had a chance to see perform. They all seem to have an important intensity to their approach in creating music that is necesary and refreshing. There is no doubt that these musicians are making statements now and will continue to make even greater creative statements going into the future.
Thanks very much for the kind words Lloyd. I agree with your assessment of Cuong Vu's significance, not only as a musician, but as an enlightened educator. It'll be fascinating to see how the music scene in Seattle continues to grow, but that it is enjoying very positive growth seems to be in no doubt.
Jane Ira Bloom
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