95

Jon Jang: Self Portrait

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Jon Jang: Self Portrait 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. Along the way he pauses to pay homage to the different "woman warriors" in his life who have inspired him. That list includes everyone from Mahalia Jackson and Joni Mitchell to the all-woman Shaoxing Opera Company, among the musical warriors—and his mother, wife, and daughter, among the family warriors.

The super-sensitive tone of this impressionistic record explores mild and atmospheric sensuality at the expense of energy and open expressionism, two of my favorite qualities in improvisation. At times Self Portrait veers dangerously close to the great dreaded quagmire of New Age. But if you don't have my particular sensitivity to that genre, this record has a lot to offer. It's a nice complement to the heap of good things that have been put out on Jang's label, AIR, over the last decade or so.


Track Listing: Two Flowers on a Stem; The Butterfly Dream; All I Want; Two Flowers Behind a Mist; Amazing Grace; Come Sunday; Chinese Sorrow Song for Paul Robeson; The Procession/Woman Shaman of Alishan; Two Flowers on a Stem (reprise); My Little One from Faraway; You'll Never Walk Alone.

Personnel: Jon Jang: piano.

Title: Self Portrait | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Asian Improv Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Noumenon" CD/LP/Track Review Noumenon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Love Song" CD/LP/Track Review Love Song
by Tyran Grillo
Published: September 19, 2016
Read "Leaps In Leicester" CD/LP/Track Review Leaps In Leicester
by John Sharpe
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Beauty And the Beast" CD/LP/Track Review Beauty And the Beast
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "Slag" CD/LP/Track Review Slag
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 29, 2017
Read "We Drift Meridian" CD/LP/Track Review We Drift Meridian
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 15, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.