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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Cuong Vu: Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Cuong Vu/Pat Metheny: Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny

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Vietnamese trumpeter Cuong Vu has been a frequent Pat Metheny collaborator dating back to the guitarist's Speaking Of Now (Warner Bros., 2002). It has taken well over a decade for Vu to flip the table, putting Metheny in a role he is seldom seen in, that of a sideman. In fact, across almost fifty albums, the guitarist's non-leader entries could be counted on one hand. It speaks volumes about Metheny's regard for Vu and the results on Cuong Vu Trio ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Cuong Vu Trio With Pat Metheny: Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny

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One of the most distinctive jazz sounds to have appeared this millennium has been shaped by Cuong Vu. Beginning with his It's Mostly Residual (ArtistShare, 2005) through Vu-Tet (ArtistShare, 2007) and into Leaps of Faith, (Origin Records 2011), the modernistic and often plugged-in trumpeter has crafted an assault of sound: a thick, sludgy, glow-in-the-dark, pugnaciously percussive music that reaches out of the speakers and grabs you by the front of the shirt. Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny

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A good chunk of the jazz-consuming public first became aware of Cuong Vu's virtuoso trumpet playing via his work with the Pat Metheny Group during the 2000s. For those of us already familiar with Vu's work, the move seemed a bit out-of-character, as the young trumpeter was a prominent player in the hyper-adventurous downtown NYC scene that coalesced around the Knitting Factory. To some, Metheny was a part of the jazz establishment; the very thing that the Knitting Factory scene ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Cuong Vu Trio With Pat Metheny: Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny

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When trumpeter/composer Cuong Vu became a member of the Pat Metheny Group--he contributed to Speaking Of Now (Warner Bros., 2002) and The Way Up (Nonesuch, 2005)--it came as a bit of a shock to anyone familiar with his work in the downtown New York City scene. While Pat Metheny has made music that fits in with Knitting Factory acts, the PMG always had a big, wide-screen approach. Their World Music sounds and rhythms and breezy melodies gave them a broad ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Cuong Vu Trio With Pat Metheny: Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny

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There's a bit of a role reversal going on with this one. Trumpeter Cuong Vu--a Pat Metheny devotee from the time he first heard the guitarist's Travels (ECM, 1983) as a teenager--eventually came to join the Pat Metheny Group, enhancing the sound of the band on a pair of Grammy-winning albums: Speaking Of Now (Warner Bros. 2002) and The Way Up (Nonesuch, 2005). Now Metheny returns the favor, joining Vu's crew for this expansive outing. The concept ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Indigo Mist: Cuong Vu - Richard Karpen: That The Days Go By And Never Come Again

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Pioneering trumpeter, composer Cuong Vu and pianist Richard Karpen push the envelope by not releasing a cut and dry tribute to Duke Ellington and his counterpart Billy Strayhorn . With a standard jazz quartet supported by iPad and electronics performers, to say this album follows mainstream jazz guidelines would be a miscue of sorts. Unconventional wisdom and atypical treatments accentuate this production of three Ellington-Strayhorn compositions and several originals by the quartet. According to Vu, the spirit of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Naked Truth: Shizaru

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Naked Truth is the brain child of Italian bassist Lorenzo Feliciati, who has made a name for himself throughout Europe since 2005 as both a leader and collaborator. Feliciati has said that Naked Truth came from his desire to create a band where “each voice is equal and contributes to the musical conversation," and where no instrument dominates the melodies or solos. Instead, each composition is based upon a riff or sonic motif, with the players all responding with improvised ...


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