Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEW

Nguyen Le: Overseas

Read "Overseas" reviewed by Don Phipps

Robust and compelling, guitarist and composer Nguyen Le's Overseas continues his explorations of hybrid jazz—a jazz which combines traditional Vietnamese music with a personal style of jazzy soulful funk. Ancient instruments and urban rhythms collide, creating a kaleidoscopic musical mix that is at times hopping, like a busy Ho Chi Minh City avenue, and at times peaceful, like a morning sunrise over the ocean on an deserted tropical beach. Le composed the music as part of a performance ...

LIVE REVIEW

ELBJAZZ 2017

Read "ELBJAZZ 2017" reviewed by Ian Patterson

ELBJAZZ 2017 Blohm and Voss/various venues Hamburg, Germany June 2-3, 2017 Although Gregory Porter was the marquee name at the sixth edition of Elbjazz, with a strong supporting cast including Joshua Redman, Jan Garbarek, Hildegard Lernt Fliegen and Youn Sun Nah, the real star of the show was the spectacular festival setting. The Blohm and Voss shipyard, where most of the concerts were held in four different venues, provided a dramatic industrial backdrop to the ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Nguyen Le & Ngo Hong Quang: Ha Noi Duo

Read "Ha Noi Duo" reviewed by Ian Patterson

After exploring the pop culture of the 1960s/1970s in Songs of Freedom (ACT Music, 2011) and paying big-band tribute to Pink Floyd's iconic album on Celebrating The Dark Side of the Moon (ACT Music, 2014), French guitarist/producer Nguyên Lê returns to explore his Vietnamese ancestry on Hà Nôi Duo, with vocalist/multi- instrumentalist Ngô Hồng Quang and several of Le's trusted collaborators. It's Lê's sixth album to take Vietnamese music as a launching pad, and whilst the traditional elements are deeply ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Nguyen Le With Michael Gibbs & NDR Bigband: Celebrating The Dark Side Of The Moon

Read "Nguyen Le With Michael Gibbs & NDR Bigband: Celebrating The Dark Side Of The Moon" reviewed by Ian Patterson

It's a bold concept; take Pink Floyd's iconic Dark Side of the Moon (Harvest, 1973) and reinterpret it in a big band jazz setting. With upwards of forty million copies sold, every note, every nuance of Floyd's eighth album is so firmly entrenched in the minds of the band's legion devotees that to tamper with the work in any way is to leave oneself open to facile criticism. French-Vietnamese guitarist Nguyên Lê, however, is nothing if not adventurous. ...

LIVE REVIEW

Quoc Trung / Nguyen Le / Dhafer Youssef / Thanh Lam / Rhani Krija / Kieu Anh: Hanoi, Vietnam, September, 1, 2012

Read "Quoc  Trung / Nguyen Le / Dhafer Youssef / Thanh Lam / Rhani Krija / Kieu Anh: Hanoi, Vietnam, September, 1, 2012" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Quốc Trung / Nguyên Lê / Dhafer Youssef / Thanh Lam / Rhani Krija / Kiều Anh Hanoi Opera HouseHanoi, VietnamSeptember 1, 2012The Hanoi Opera House celebrated its centenary in 2011, and for most of those first hundred years, Vietnamese traditional and European classical music reverberated within the walls of this elegant venue. However, as the Opera House enters its second century, there are signs--as in Vietnam itself--of gradual openness to more modern tides. This concert--billed as ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Nguyen Le: Songs of Freedom

Read "Songs of Freedom" reviewed by John Kelman

For over twenty years, Nguyên Lê has collaborated with a growing cadre of like-minded musicians--mostly Paris-based, where the guitarist of Vietnamese origins resides--building a body of work that is, in the truest sense of the word, “world music." From the Afro-centric band Ultramarine, and exploration of his own roots on the seminal Tales from Vietnam (ACT, 1996), to recent explorations of a nexus where programming and spontaneity meet on Homescape (ACT, 2006), Lê has carved out a unique space--often fusion-like ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Nguyen Le: Signature Edition 1

Read "Nguyen Le: Signature Edition 1" reviewed by Chris May

Nguyên Lê Signature Edition 1 ACT Music 2010

It might seem perverse to begin a review of a Nguyên Lê release with the observation that there is “too much fusion" on it, as, increasingly since the late 1990s, it is to the fusion mast that the guitarist has nailed his colors. But it is legitimate when considering the anthology Signature Edition 1, a double-disc set which starts with Lê's recordings ...


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