Cuong Vu Keeps it Close to Home for ‘Change In The Air’

  I  
Image

On Cuong Vu 4Tet’s Change In The Air (RareNoise), its namesake trumpeter ditches electronic effects.

(Photo: Peter Purgar)

Two tracks carry latent Latin rhythms, though they were not intended as nods to any genre. Bergman’s intimate “Must Concentrate” suggests a bossa nova, reinforced by Frisell’s at-first brushed, barely amplified strings and Vu’s passionately elegant solo. A tango lurks beneath the cagey melody of Poor’s “Lately,” which has a yearning folk feel.

But the mood here and elsewhere on the album is less romantic than it is curiously unsettling. Petulia Mattioli’s jacket art—irregularly shaped, unidentified particles floating under a microscopic lens—reinforces the feeling that whatever the “Change In The Air” might be, it probably isn’t good for you.

“Right now, there are so many pockets of hate,” Vu said of the current political climate, which inevitably seeped in to his consideration of the music. “People aren’t really thinking things through.”

So, maybe it’s not such a bad time to be staying home, after all. Though the 4-Tet probably will jump out a few times for live gigs, Vu mostly will be sticking around Seattle—practicing, composing, teaching and bringing up his daughter.

“I want to be a great musician,” he said. “I tell my students, it’s a lifelong process. There’s always something to learn.” DB

Page 2 of 2   < 1 2


  • Web4_RoyHargrove_8_25_14_rrjones_copy_2.jpg

    Roy Hargrove (1969–2018)

  • SteinandMichelle.jpg

    Ron Stein, Coltrane Home board president, and Michelle Coltrane hug Oct. 10 during an announcement about the Dix Hills home of Alice and John Coltrane.

  • Web_04_Hamiet_Bluiett_%C2%A9credit_Hyou_Vielz.jpg

    Hamiet Bluiett (1940-2018) performs at the Moers Festival in Moers, Germany, on May 26, 1996.

    Hamiet Bluiett Dies at 78

    Baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett, a founding member of the World Saxophone Quartet, as well as the Black Artists…

  • JoeyBarron_WEB.jpg

    Some of drummer Joey Baron’s most recent recordings have been duo collaborations—Now You Hear Me, a meticulously crafted studio project with percussionist Robyn Schulkowsky, and Live!, a document of spontaneous composition at Zurich’s Unerhört Festival with pioneering Swiss free-jazz pianist Irène Schweizer.

  • benwendel_credit_JoshGoleman_WEB.jpg

    Saxophonist Ben Wendel has released The Seasons, a cache of music initially dispensed through YouTube, and also is amid another series of videos, Standards With Friends.


On Sale Now
December 2018
Medeski Martin & Wood
Look Inside
Subscribe
Print | Digital | iPad