32

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

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
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 Ellington and Strayhorn presided during the recording session, amid references to the music taking on the semblance of an extended tone poem. As a whole, the album tenders a syndicate of alternating currents with numerous contrapuntal episodes by the frontline. With Poor's temperate percussion maneuvers and unearthly electronics effects garnishing the jazz improvisation component, these Ellington cogitations span transcendental soundscapes that are asynchronously plaited into Vu's tone poem inference. However, the rhythm section peppers several motifs to induce an undulating cycle of events. On "Duke," Vu's swaggering bop lines rides above a gradual buildup, imparting a rather devious scenario. And "Charles" is gelled by his rifling and scratchy notes —marked by a ballsy gait and offset by a bizarre world-beat motif along with Karpen's contrasting chord clusters.

The ensemble operates within variable rhythmic metrics, inflated by the drummer's swarming press rolls and the pianist's thunderous cadenzas as the electronics performers occasionally smear the proceedings with darting and sinuous patterns. In addition, the three Ellington-Strayhorn classics are regenerated with existential melodic phrasings and moody choruses. On a side note, the dusky audio characteristics can sometimes generate a bit of listening fatigue. Otherwise, it's a valiant concept, interspersed with fuming passages, impassioned interludes, and wraithlike progressions that underscore a seriously off-kilter ode to these giants of American music.

Track Listing: L’Heure Bleue; Indigo Mist; A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing; Billy; Duke; In A Sentimental Mood; Charles; Lush Life; The Electric Mist; Mood Indigo.

Personnel: Cuong Vu: trumpet; Richard Karpen: piano; Luke Berman: bass; Ted Poor: drums; Ivan Arteaga; Live Electronics iPad; Shih-Wei Lo: Live Electronics iPad; Douglas Niemela: Live Electronics iPad; Joshua Parmenter: Live Electronics iPad.

Title: That The Days Go By And Never Come Again | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: RareNoiseRecords


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Landed in Brooklyn" CD/LP/Track Review Landed in Brooklyn
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "Deep Memory" CD/LP/Track Review Deep Memory
by John Sharpe
Published: December 22, 2016
Read "Faces" CD/LP/Track Review Faces
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "Alcanza" CD/LP/Track Review Alcanza
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 14, 2017
Read "Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Quinsin Nachoff's Ethereal Trio
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 19, 2017
Read "First Light" CD/LP/Track Review First Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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