All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

4

Cuong Vu: Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Having recently immersed myself in Miles Davis' In a Silent Way (Columbia, 1969) and Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1969), the journey to the music on trumpeter Cuong Vu's Ballet (The Music of Michael Gibbs) is a necessarily short one. Davis had been working up to his "Freedom Principle" throughout his recordings with is second great quintet, featuring Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams. He achieved with his recordings closing out the 1960s, a compromise between the noises of the "New Thing" as espoused by late John Coltrane and Archie Shepp and his own vision of something equally free distributed in a greater area of silence.

In addressing the music of composer Michael Gibbs (mentor to vibraphonist Gary Burton), Vu, with guitarist Bill Frisell and his usual 4-Tet members, bassist Luke Bergman and drummer Ted Poor use five Gibbs melodies as the jumping off place for some free flowing melodic rumination. Frisell is present with some of his most progressive playing in recent memory, eschewing volume modulation and other techniques recent to his playing. On the opening title piece, the guitarist's tone is one of jangly reverb, mostly clean with an edge that occasionally pokes Vu, who weaves in and out of the instrumentation, keeping everything properly shaken up. The piece comes together in the coda, ending things on a consonant upswing. The band makes use of this productive formula again on "Feelings and Things," bringing things into a blues orbit with "Blue Comedy" where Frisell and Vu gives the piece a parallel workout. Forward thinking, smart, and well-paced Ballet (The Music of Michael Gibbs) is a welcome answer to Vu's previous recording, Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny (Nonesuch, 2016), a recording well-represented at All About Jazz. The two juxtapose well.

Track Listing: Ballet; Feelings And Things; Blue Comedy; And On The Third Day; Sweet Rain.

Personnel: Cuong Vu: trumpet; Bill Frisell: guitar; Luke Bergman: drums; Ted Poor: bass.

Title: Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: RareNoiseRecords

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Let's Get Back

Let's Get Back

Cuong Vu
Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny

Touching Corners

Touching Corners

Cuong Vu
Shizaru

Leaps of Faith

Leaps of Faith

Cuong Vu
Leaps of Faith

Brittle, Like Twigs

Brittle, Like Twigs

Cuong Vu
It's Mostly Residual

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs

Ballet: The Music Of...

RareNoiseRecords
2017

buy
Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny

Cuong Vu Trio Meets...

Nonesuch Records
2016

buy
That The Days Go By And Never Come Again

That The Days Go By...

RareNoiseRecords
2014

buy
Agogic

Agogic

Table and Chairs Music
2011

buy
Leaps of Faith

Leaps of Faith

Origin Records
2011

buy
Shizaru

Shizaru

RareNoiseRecords
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read Postcard Collection CD/LP/Track Review
Postcard Collection
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Der Dichter Spricht CD/LP/Track Review
Der Dichter Spricht
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Dodecahedron CD/LP/Track Review
Dodecahedron
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 21, 2018
Read The Chopin Project CD/LP/Track Review
The Chopin Project
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Walk The Walk CD/LP/Track Review
Walk The Walk
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Grime Scene CD/LP/Track Review
Grime Scene
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 20, 2018
Read "The Princess" CD/LP/Track Review The Princess
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Garden(s)" CD/LP/Track Review Garden(s)
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 14, 2017
Read "Scarlett Roses" CD/LP/Track Review Scarlett Roses
by Doug Collette
Published: November 26, 2017
Read "Songs of Experience: Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Songs of Experience: Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: February 10, 2018
Read "No Arrival" CD/LP/Track Review No Arrival
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 19, 2018
Read "I Know I Dream" CD/LP/Track Review I Know I Dream
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 22, 2017