197

Beijing Trio: Beijing Trio

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
The USA based “Beijing Trio” plan to embark on a tour of China sometime in 2000 as they actively tour here in the States. With their inaugural release on “Asian Improv Records, the trio featuring legendary drummer Max Roach, pianist/composer Jon Jang and “ehru” (Chinese violin) expert Jiebing Chen offer the listener something noticeably fresh, magnetically attractive and candidly beautiful...

Jiebing Chen is no stranger to Western musical concepts and techniques, which is evident on fairly recent outings with violinist Bela Fleck and flutist James Newton. Here, Ms Chen is faced with the challenging task of improvising amid Western scales and harmonies along with Mr. Roach’s now infamous and easily identifiable melodic-polyrhythmic approach to drumming along with Jon Jang’s precious and thought provoking piano performances.

The first piece, titled “Moon Over the Great Wall” commences with Roach’s sonorously melodic drumming as he comps, prods and pushes pianist Jon Jang into a series of rhythmic encounters while Jang displays wonderful invention via swirling chord progressions and lush themes. The constant yet multi-tonal pulse moves along in valiant, if not irresistible fashion as Roach is a master of tone and pitch while also providing the deep bottom end here and throughout. On the second track, titled “Sweet Whisper of a Flower”, the listener is introduced to Ms. Chen who now joins Roach and Jang as this Trio integrate East with West, via Ms. Chen’s captivating, sweet-tempered performances on the bowed “erhu”.

Ms Chen is a formidable improviser on this ethnic Chinese instrument which conveys warmth and delicacy as the dialogue heats up a bit on the piece titled, “Now’s the Time”. Jang and Ms Chen perform a sublime yet gorgeous duet on “When the Blossoms Bloom” while Roach and Jang team up on the up-tempo finale “The Flowing Stream”. The music is somewhat mystical, engaging and quite palatable as the great Max Roach could be viewed upon as the common denominator here. Roach provides the “edge” via tumbling rhythmic development and structure while maintaining the flowing heartbeat, which enables Jang and Chen to explore themes in unison or in alternating fashion.

Simply put, this recording is an honest and very successful stab at melding disparate musical elements. Perhaps a paradigm for life as we strive to open up the doors of communication and dispel those old beliefs that some things just can’t happen. --- “The Beijing Trio” have charted a new course, yet it all seems so natural and uninhibited which equates to a thoroughly enchanting listening experience........Recommended!! * * * *

Asian-Improv Website: www.asianimprov.com

| Record Label: Asian Improv Records | Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Failure of Words CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21" CD/LP/Track Review Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Just for Fun" CD/LP/Track Review Just for Fun
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2016
Read "Sinking Houseboat Confusion" CD/LP/Track Review Sinking Houseboat Confusion
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 14, 2016
Read "In the Still of the Night" CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "The Promise Of Happiness" CD/LP/Track Review The Promise Of Happiness
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 2, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!