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Jazz Articles

Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page.

5

Album Review

Jo-Yu Chen: Savage Beauty

Read "Savage Beauty" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


The cover art of pianist Jo-Yu Chen's fourth album, Savage Beauty, is provocative and beautiful. So is the music. There is a sense of a “stepping up of the game," in terms of public persona and artistry. Chen has always taken the physical product—the hard copy of her CDs—seriously, beginning with her debut, Obsession (Sony Music Taiwan, 2009), through Incomplete Soul (Sony Music, 2012), then Stranger (Okeh, 2014). On Savage Beauty she embraces an over-the-top glamor mode in this regard, ...

28

Album Review

Jo-Yu Chen: Stranger

Read "Stranger" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


The title of pianist Jo-Yu Chen's third album refers to strangers of two different sorts: those who were once strangers but became part of Chen's life, and those who took the reverse course. Chen notes that as a Taiwanese artist living in New York, she's often felt like a stranger herself. That may be the case, but her music never betrays that fact; she plays like an insider looking out, not the other way around. Stranger finds ...

27

Album Review

Jo-Yu Chen: Stranger

Read "Stranger" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


The short version of pianist Jo-Yu Chen's biography: Born in Taiwan, started with music in the classical realm, moved to New York to study oboe and piano at Julliard School, and fell under the spell of jazz. That's not an unusual back story in the world of jazz, with the exception of her Taiwanese roots. The pianist self-produced two CDs, Obsession (Sony Music Taiwan, 2010) and My Incomplete Soul (Sony Music, 2011), and now--as the first Taiwanese jazz artist signed ...

85

Album Review

Jo-Yu Chen: Obsession

Read "Obsession" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Japanese musicians get most of the ink when jazz sights turn to Asian-born wonders, but pianist Jo-Yu Chen is proof that Taiwan has its fair share of homegrown talent. Chen has been making waves over the past few years, self-releasing her Sam Yahel-produced debut, joining the fold as a Steinway Artist and, most recently, signing with Sony Music Taiwan. On Obsession, she shows no signs of slowing down, on a something-for-everyone program that can keep people guessing ...

117

Album Review

Jo-Yu Chen Trio: Incomplete Soul

Read "Incomplete Soul" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Taiwanese-born pianist Jo-Yu Chen is going somewhere. The cover photo of her Incomplete Soul shows the artist in the back seat of a car, gazing at an indeterminate distance, with a look of quiet, unyielding determination on her face. Her journey with this recording is one of a melding of her classical influences with the improvisational aspect of jazz, and to an extent an East/West blend of sound. She begins with her original, “The Wandering Songstress," opening with the eerily ...

140

Album Review

Jo-Yu Chen: Incomplete Soul

Read "Incomplete Soul" reviewed by James Nadal


Where most musicians today release a record as a statement that they have arrived, Jo-Yu Chen's recording Incomplete Soul characterizes the ongoing journey of musical exploration which the pianist began with Obsession (Sony, 2010). Opening with the erhu (two-stringed Chinese violin) opening to “The Wandering Songstress," the record is a musical metaphor of Chen herself. In honor of her Taiwanese heritage, she chose this song and two others--"Chess" and “Red Bean"- to display her Asian cultural roots, while masterfully blending ...


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