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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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEW

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

Read "Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

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

Read "Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" reviewed by Dave Wayne

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEW

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

Read "Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

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 ...


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