211

Billy Bang: Vietnam: The Aftermath

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Billy Bang: Vietnam: The Aftermath The CD itself is painted olive drab. The cover features other shades of green in faded photographs. The music moves evenly with a peaceful country air. Dirges, dances, ceremonial rites, a little dramatic counterpoint, and swinging anthems take on surreal qualities through Billy Bang's compositions.

It's been a long time, but those memories linger. We were there to do a job, but no one could avoid immersion in the culture that ran so very different from our own. We felt at home, right away, with many aspects of the foreign landscape. After all, it was the same moon in the sky. The people seemed okay; but we trusted no one. Our search for commonality had to remain satisfied with the similarities of Nature, music, family values and our jobs. Mechanics, moms, butterflies and songs remain quite similar around the world, as long as you're not looking for the differences. We saw the fragile people who were as afraid of war as we were. We saw the determined people who made their daily living in spite of incredible obstacles. We saw a society that lived for today and hoped for a brighter tomorrow. And we remember everything, after all these years.

After tucking them away for a long time, violinist Billy Bang decided to put these recollections to music. With a close-knit band of like-minded artists, he interprets these old memories. There's the placid landscape and the natural flavor from traditional Vietnamese country music. There's a somber prayer for those who never returned. One swinging impression recalls the rare moment of entertainment some were able to enjoy at dance clubs, tucked far away from the front. That same Western spirit blared daily from our radios and reel-to-reel tape players. Another piece brings us the dramatic tension that we lived with every day. Bang and five other members of the ensemble are veterans. They've turned these memories into a positive affair. Culture, society, and a deeper meaning color the session thoroughly, but they're couched in lively, straight-ahead jazz terms.


Track Listing: Yo! Ho-Chi-Minh is in the House; Moments for the KIAMIA; Tunnel Rat (Flashlight and a .45); TET Offensive; Bien Hoa Blues; Mystery of the Mekong; Fire in the Hole; Saigon Phunk.

Personnel: Billy Bang- violin; Ted Daniel- trumpet; Frank Lowe- tenor saxophone; Sonny Fortune- flute; John Hicks- piano; Curtis Lundy- bass; Ron Brown- percussion; Michael Carvin- drums; Butch Morris- conductor on "TET Offensive".

Year Released: 2002 | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Prairie Burn" CD/LP/Track Review Prairie Burn
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 9, 2016
Read "Groovin'" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin'
by Jeff Winbush
Published: November 2, 2016
Read "Ready Take One" CD/LP/Track Review Ready Take One
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Kansas City Here I Come" CD/LP/Track Review Kansas City Here I Come
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Hear & Now" CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Rise" CD/LP/Track Review Rise
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!