How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Nguyên Lê is amazing. His guitar work is unique, inspiring, technically challenging, fired with soul, jazzy, rocking, and drips of fusion yet goes even further. You will hear world music (far-Eastern/Southeast Asian) scales and note treatments in attack, vibrato, and bends. Lê is of Vietnamese heritage but knows full well the world of jazz and rock.
He can play light-hearted, crystalline-clear tones, dreamy chordal sustains, wielding an endless barrage of effects and suddenly flat-out scream and wail like a banshee as if Ninja warriors had invaded the studio. I have never heard anything quite like him. I was deeply impressed first listen to this release. This is a guitarists’ guitarist kind of CD. Every jazz musician and fusion musician needs to hear this magic.
For references sake, I suppose you can hear echoes of Bill Frisell, Terje Rypdal, Steve Kahn( Blades era), Wayne Johnson, Kazumi Watanabe, and even Steve Tibbetts but . . . Lê is standing all alone in his total sound and delivery. My adored track was “La Parfum” for its simple elegance, beauty, and its power to transport me into bliss . . .
If you want the crunch go straight to his fiery boogie on “Straight No Chaser” and then sample the very fusiony “Dance of the Comet”. But really this is CD to be experienced in totality. You will discover sounds and feelings you will thrill to if you love great guitar-driven jazz. Highest of recommendations!!!
Track Listing: 1 Three trios - SILK, 2 Three trios - SILVER, 3 Three trios - SAND, 4 DANCE OF THE COMET, 5 FOOW, 6 KINDERHUND, 7 WOOF, 8 IDOMA, 9 LA PARFUM, 10 BLUE MONKEY, 11 STRAIGHT NO CHASER
Personnel: SILK (track 1,4,9,10): Peter Erskine drums, Marc Johnson acoustic bass, Nguy