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Jazz Articles

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 ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

The Unity Sessions / Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny

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Pat Metheny The Unity Sessions Nonesuch Records 2016 What's in a name? First there was the Unity Band in 2012; after several years of collaborations, solo work and small ensembles, the ever-restless Pat Metheny decided it was time for a steady quartet of his own again. The following year it was expanded to a quintet with a dozen more instruments added to the sonic palette, spurring the name switch to Unity Group. Eventually, they ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pat Metheny: The Unity Sessions

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Guitarist/composer Pat Metheny felt the urge to make a more traditional record with a horn plus rhythm section when he assembled what became the Unity Band in 2012. Everyone was having such a great time that they went on to make the KIN album as the Unity Group (Nonesuch, 2014), with the quartet augmented by utility player Giulio Carmassi. Metheny has customarily documented his bands with a live concert film, but this time he made The Unity Sessions in a ...

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 ...

WHAT IS JAZZ?

Jazz and Moral Theory: Swinging the Right Way

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Morality matters to all of us. We protest when we are robbed or defrauded. We praise heroes and heroines. We condemn moral monsters. We laud a Mother Teresa and condemn a Ted Bundy. We recognize good and bad habits. We rebuke those who do evil; we praise those who do good. We attempt to honor our conscience and call others to do so. Morality matters to music as well. Consider piracy, contractual obligations, fair compensation for work, plagiarizing ...


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