Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
95

Jon Jang: Self Portrait

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count Views
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.

| Record Label: Asian Improv Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Tiananmen!
Tiananmen!
Soul Note
2002
buy
Self Portrait
Self Portrait
Asian Improv Records
1999
buy
[no cover]
Island: The Immigrant...
Shanachie
1997
buy
[no cover]
Tiananmen!
Shanachie
1993
buy
[no cover]
Jang
Concord Jazz
1982
buy

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.