All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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

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 Seymour Reads The Constitution! CD/LP/Track Review
Seymour Reads The Constitution!
by Doug Collette
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Colours of Sound CD/LP/Track Review
Colours of Sound
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 23, 2018
Read A Blast From The Past CD/LP/Track Review
A Blast From The Past
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Rhapsody CD/LP/Track Review
Rhapsody
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2018
Read You're Driving Me Crazy CD/LP/Track Review
You're Driving Me Crazy
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 23, 2018
Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 22, 2018
Read "UpRoot" CD/LP/Track Review UpRoot
by John Sharpe
Published: May 4, 2018
Read "In This Together" CD/LP/Track Review In This Together
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 28, 2018
Read "Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson" CD/LP/Track Review Wild Lines: Improvising Emily Dickinson
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 2, 2017
Read "Everybody Loves Angels" CD/LP/Track Review Everybody Loves Angels
by Henning Bolte
Published: October 26, 2017
Read "Live In Europe" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Europe
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 3, 2018
Read "Star Gazing" CD/LP/Track Review Star Gazing
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 27, 2017