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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 ...

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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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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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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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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 ...

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

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

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 ...

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

Read "That The Days Go By And Never Come Again" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

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 ...

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Naked Truth: Shizaru

Read "Shizaru" reviewed by Lawrence Peryer

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 ...

INTERVIEWS

Cuong Vu: Agogic Logic

Read "Cuong Vu: Agogic Logic" reviewed by Ian Patterson

New York may be the major incubator for all that's best in American jazz but there are healthy signs that vibrant scenes are emerging in other cities. Long-term New York-resident, alto saxophonist David Binney recently expressed a desire to spend more time in the jazz scene in Los Angeles, where he says: “there's something really happening." Further north, in Seattle, there's something going on too; an exciting scene is developing around a core of young musicians who see the jazz ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Cuong Vu: Cooking in Seattle

Read "Cuong Vu: Cooking in Seattle" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Returning to home town Seattle after 15 years on the east coast has been a good move for trumpeter Cuong Vu judging by the outstanding music on these three CDs and the movement he has largely inspired in Seattle's young creative musicians. Bassist Luke Bergman is a constant on these recordings, adding new depth to Vu's 4-Tet on the uniquely atmospheric live recording Leaps of Faith, and wonderful grooves to Agogic, the self-titled debut of an exciting quartet. A little ...


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