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Cuong Vu

Cuong Vu is widely recognized by jazz critics as a leader of a new generation of innovative musicians. A truly unique musical voice, Cuong has lent his trumpet playing talents to a wide range of artists including Pat Metheny, Laurie Anderson, David Bowie, Dave Douglas, Cibo Matto, Mitchell Froom, and Chris Speed. Since moving to New York in 1994, Cuong has been active leading various groups, most notably his trio with Stomu Takeishi (bass) and Ted Poor (drums).

He has toured extensively throughout the world and has given clinics and masterclasses throughout the US and Europe. As a leader, Cuong has released four recordings, “Bound” (OmniTone), “Pure” (Knitting Factory Records), “Come Play With Me” (Knitting Factory Records) and “It's Mostly Residual” (ArtistShare) to critical acclaim, with each one having been considered among the best recordings of their respective years. Each record displays how he has carved out a distinctive sonic territory on the trumpet while blurring all stylistic borders.

Cuong was born on September 19, 1969 in Saigon, Vietnam. He immigrated to Seattle at the age of 6 and began playing the trumpet at the age of 11. His intense dedication and love for music led him to a full scholarship at the New England Conservatory of Music where he received his Bachelor of Music in Jazz studies with a distinction in performance.

A recipient of numerous awards and honors, Cuong was awarded the Colbert Award for Excellence: The Downtown Arts Project Emerging Artist Award and was mentioned as one of the top 50 young Jazz Artists in an article called “The New Masters” from the British magazine, “Classic CD”. In 2002, Cuong was a recipient of the Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album as a member of the Pat Metheny Group.

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Album Review

Cuong Vu 4TET: Change in the Air

Read "Change in the Air" reviewed by Neri Pollastri


Dopo la collaborazione nello splendido It's Mostly Residual, uscito nel lontano 2005 per la nostra Auand, e Ballet: The Music of Michael Gibbs, del 2017, omaggio al musicista inglese, Cuong Vu torna a collaborare con Bill Frisell, ancora una volta per RareNoise e con il medesimo quartetto del lavoro dello scorso anno. Stavolta, però, in programma solo composizioni originali a firma di tutti i membri del gruppo e una musica dalla spiccata coralità, come esplicitamente testimoniato sia dal leader--che afferma ...

4
Album Review

Cuong Vu 4Tet: Change In The Air

Read "Change In The Air" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Seattle-based trumpeter Cuong Vu continues his collaboration with guitarist Bill Frisell that began with It's Mostly Residual (AUAND, 2006). His previous 4Tet release, Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs (RareNoise Records, 2017), was also made by the same personnel. But this time, instead of interpretations of an outside composer, every group member contributes compositionally, including Vu, Frisell, bassist Luke Bergman and drummer Ted Poor. Vu emphasizes that this is very much a collective project; his role as “leader" was basically ...

6
Album Review

Cuong Vu 4Tet: Change In The Air

Read "Change In The Air" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Trumpeter Cuong Vu introduced this particular 4tet in 2017, with Ballet: The Music of Michael Gibbs (RareNoiseRecords). An all star affair that included guitarist Bill Frisell, bassist Luke Bergman and drummer Ted Poor, it seemed to signal something of a gentler Cuong Vu, with a music that had a spaciousness, patience and ruminative quality that didn't show in outings like the in-your-face Agogic (Table and Chairs Music, 2011), the deep space electronics of Vu-tet ( ArtistShare, 2017,) or the eerie ...

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Album Review

Cuong Vu: Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs

Read "Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs" reviewed by Nicola Negri


Cuong Vu si muove da sempre in una dimensione stilistica misteriosa, che trae ispirazione tanto dalla tradizione del jazz--non è raro ascoltarlo in concerto rivisitare a suo modo gli standard più classici--quanto dalle correnti più avventurose della downtown scene newyorchese, in cui ha mosso i primi passi a metà anni novanta. Questa capacità di confrontarsi con il linguaggio del jazz tradizionale, di esplorare, scomporre e ricostruire le composizioni altrui per riproporle sotto una nuova luce, è ben presente in Ballet, ...

5
Album Review

Cuong Vu: Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs

Read "Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


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 ...

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Album Review

Cuong Vu/4-Tet: Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs

Read "Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


It sounds as if Seattle-based trumpeter Cuong Vu is in the early stages of lining up the jazz guitar gods and recording and releasing an album with each. The year 2015 saw him offer up Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny (Nonesuch Records), and 2017 finds him bringing Bill Frisell into his orbit, with Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs. These are two distinct guitar voices, joining in the crafting of two distinctly different sounds. The Metheny collaboration featured--like much ...

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Album Review

Tom Collier: Impulsive Illuminations

Read "Impulsive Illuminations" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Vibraphonist Tom Collier offers up something quite different from his previous Origin Records CDs, where he covered the jazz standards like John Coltrane's “Giant Steps; Miles Davis' “So What," and some seemingly unlikely pop hits: The Rolling Stones “What a Shame" and Brian Wilson's “God Only Knows," alongside his own always engaging compositions. With Impulsive Illuminations, the thirty year University of Washington educator (now retired) explores the world of improvisation with pianist Richard Karpen, in the trio mode, with five ...

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Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Change in the Air

RareNoiseRecords
2018

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Ballet: The Music Of...

RareNoiseRecords
2017

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Cuong Vu Trio Meets...

Nonesuch Records
2016

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Impulsive...

Origin Records
2016

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That The Days Go By...

RareNoiseRecords
2014

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Leaps of Faith

Origin Records
2011

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Odious Mode

From: Impulsive Illuminations
By Cuong Vu

Let's Get Back

From: Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
By Cuong Vu

Touching Corners

From: Shizaru
By Cuong Vu

Leaps of Faith

From: Leaps of Faith
By Cuong Vu

Brittle, Like Twigs

From: It's Mostly Residual
By Cuong Vu

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