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!

328

Cuong Vu 4-Tet: Leaps of Faith

By

Sign in to view read count
Cuong Vu's Leaps of Faith is one of the most creative and thoughtful jazz recordings released so far this year, suggesting that jazz remains alive and thriving. Like the best of contemporary jazz, it's mixture of worlds is both atonal and melodic; free, but following form; complex, while also accessible.

This record is rich in musical experiences, beginning with a free-flowing interpretation of the classic "Body and Soul," that drifts along on Vu's tender trumpet lines. Another standard, "All the Things You Are," is set to the 4-tet's solid and unerring rhythm section. The two-bass approach to accompaniment, with Stomu Takeishi and Luke Bergman), provides an entirely original, and quite appealing interpretation of this enduring song, with Vu's quick, melodic solo in perfect contrast to his freer playing on "Body and Soul." His masterful trumpet lines are enjoyable, while the rhythm section brings an entirely new feel to the tune. The third standard on Leaps of Faith is an equally unique and engaging take on "My Funny Valentine," with hints of Miles Davis laid over sparse drum and bass playing that not only lays down a foundation over which Vu can improvise, but pushes its experimentation with tonality and rhythm.

Vu's original compositions also stand on their own: the trumpeter sounding much as he did on Pat Metheny Group's The Way Up(Nonesuch, 2005) on Leaps of Faith's title track, his frenetic energy jumping over a drilling rhythm section. Elsewhere, his tone is beautiful on "Child-Like (for Vina)" and, with "I Shall Never Come Back," the longest track at over fifteen minutes, Vu explores his most out-of-the-box writing and playing of the set.

Vu also covers George Harrison's "Something" in a way that's as ethereal as his take on "Body and Soul." He also delivers an endearing and beautiful version of Jackson Browne's "My Opening Farewell," the perfect way to close the record.

As Vu switches back and forth between gorgeous, melodic lines and raw blasts of energy, Ted Poor tip-toes all over the drum set, while the bassists deliver quickly walking-style lines and slow, chord-like accompaniment. One of the year's most creative records, Leaps of Faith is something more than a straight-ahead rehashing of classic tunes, while avoiding the occasionally inaccessible experimentation of some contemporary jazz. Sometimes feeling like jazz, other times more like rock, Leaps of Faith is a history of jazz, and a unification of traditions.

Track Listing: Body and Soul; All The Things You Are; My Funny Valentine; Leaps of Faith; Child-Like; Something; I Shall Never Come Back; My Opening Farewell.

Personnel: Ted Poor: drums; Stomu Takeishi: electric bass; Luke Burgman: electric bass; Cuong Vu: trumpet.

Title: Leaps of Faith | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Origin Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bricks CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017
Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Fukushima" CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read "The Chase" CD/LP/Track Review The Chase
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Unnatural  Events" CD/LP/Track Review Unnatural Events
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Unification" CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Rising Colossus" CD/LP/Track Review Rising Colossus
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks" CD/LP/Track Review Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 31, 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!