Cuong Vu

Leaps of Faith

origin 82585



MUSIC REVIEW BY Peter Margasak, Downbeat Magazine

VIEW THE CD DETAIL PAGE

★★★★

Trumpeter Cuong Vu moved back to his native Seattle in 2006 to teach, but five years later he's still working with the members of his long-running New York trio, drummer Ted Poor and electric bassist Stomu Takeishi. But on Leaps Of Faith, a gorgeous live recording made in Seattle in April 2010, he brings in second electric bassist Luke Bergman?a former University of Washington student of his who's now a regular bandmate in the quartet Agogic?to cohere Vu's bicoastal reality. But the lineup does much more than provide a nice symbol. Neither bassist is content with serving up simple lines, and through various effects and varied techniques their instruments are veering between sources of melody, atmosphere, color and harmony, rumbling and soaring with low-end authority. After spending his career writing original music, Vu tackles standards and modern pop tunes here, all of them with the kind of smoldering, unhurried melodies perfectly suited to the group's slow-burn attack, with each player seeming as if carving lines from huge slabs of sound. There's a deeply sculptural feel to the improvisations, and when Vu finally unveils the melodies to pieces like "Body And Soul" and "My Funny Valentine" after blowing billowy abstractions, it almost feels like he's wrestled them to the ground. Sometimes the music floats with an ethereal grace, while at other moments the finely wrought lyricism glides over heavy turbulence, but in every case the results are seriously transporting. This is the finest manifestation of Vu's post?Miles Davis originality.






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