Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

507

Coco Zhao: Dream Situation

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Out of a small town called Shao Yang in the Hunan province of China comes the exotic Dream Situation, by jazz vocalist Coco Zhao. Zhao's parents specialized in traditional Chinese opera, and his own background was based on Western classical music. His journey into jazz took flight around 1995 in various clubs in Shanghai, where he garnered acclaim.

In many ways Zhao challenges the stereotypical jazz vocalist image (dated love songs crooned in smoke-filled rooms) with music steeped in a unique heritage and infused with his own youthful interpretations. Though he sings the lyrics in Chinese (translated into English in the liner notes), Zhao's distinctive singing transcends cultures and is perfectly matched by an excellent band called Possicobilities. The recording succeeds in cross-pollinating Asian vocals and contemporary American jazz idioms.

These resounding performances include memorable work by arranger and violinist Peng Fei; the music soars in both altitude and attitude on songs like "Full Moon, Blossoming Flowers," with a depth filled with emotion and life. The musicians' astute education of jazz is clear as they work with Zhao's enticing voice on a variety of styles, from the metro-hip "Unavailable Love" to the Latin bossa-nova ballad "Yearning."

The swinging "I Want Your Love" seems to be thrown in for good measure, but tunes like "If Without You" are where the band's luster displays its warmest glow, making use of transient syncopations to accompany Zhao's poetic lines. The recording concludes with the captivating piano vocal duo "Three," whose translated lyrics include the following verse:

The sky made a wow to mother earth.

A meteor thereby streaked

across the sky

and went through the dream...



Dream Situation, one of this year's true gems, sets itself apart from the typical jazz vocal recording.

Track Listing: Full Moon, Blowing Flowers; I hava a Tale; Unvailable Love; Yearning; I want you Love; Dream Situation; Waiting; If without You; Three Years.

Personnel: Coco Zhao: vocals; Peng Fei: clavier, keyboard, violin; Huang Jianyi: piano; E.J. Parker: bass; Chris Trzinski: drums.

Title: Dream Situation | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Effendi Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Ariel CD/LP/Track Review Ariel
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Fukushima CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Dedication CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Surface of Inscription CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "3rio" CD/LP/Track Review 3rio
by Pascal-Denis Lussier
Published: May 1, 2017
Read "Genesis, Mystery And Magic" CD/LP/Track Review Genesis, Mystery And Magic
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 6, 2017
Read "Groovin’ Hard - Live at the Penthouse 1964 - 1968" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin’ Hard - Live at the Penthouse 1964 - 1968
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 11, 2017
Read "Honest Woman" CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Second City" CD/LP/Track Review Second City
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 9, 2017
Read "The Art Pepper Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review The Art Pepper Quartet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 7, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor