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Manuel Valera: Self Portrait

Read "Self Portrait" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

On Self Portrait, Grammy-nominated pianist Manuel Valera's first solo piano outing, the artist displays a supple and exquisite touch on his instrument, reflecting the erudition and precision of his classical background. This is worth saying right off because Valera is best known for his vivacious Latin jazz ensemble outings, New Cuban Express (Mavo Records, 2012) and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Manuel Valera: Self Portrait

Read "Self Portrait" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Pianist Manuel Valera's New Cuban Express has pulled into the station for a pit stop, his band mates have stepped off the train to stretch their legs, and the conductor of said locomotive is now left to ponder his own existence in front of his controls. Such is the story that could be told to detail ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jon Jang: Self Portrait

Read "Self Portrait" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Self Portrait is pianist/composer Jon Jang’s first CD for “Asian Improv Records” in over 10 years. A label in which he and others, such as composer/saxophonist/producer Francis Wong organized and launched back in 1987. Since then, Jang has gone on to carve out a noteworthy reputation as an often brilliant pianist/composer and bandleader who possesses the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jon Jang: Self Portrait

Read "Self Portrait" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Self Portrait is pianist/composer Jon Jang’s first CD for “Asian Improv Records” in over 10 years. A label in which he and others, such as composer/saxophonist/producer Francis Wong organized and launched back in 1987. Since then, Jang has gone on to carve out a noteworthy reputation as an often brilliant pianist/composer and bandleader who possesses the ...

Jon Jang: Self Portrait

Read "Self Portrait" reviewed by AAJ Staff

With this solo piano self portrait as a reference point, Jang reveals himself to be a sentimental improvisor with ears open to anything from gospel and folk to Chinese opera. It's Jang's own mixture, unlike anybody else's. The integrative jazz pianist tools through eleven tunes on Self Portrait, including seven original compositions with Chinese-American folk flair. ...