Exposé Online banner

Cuong Vu 4tet — Change in the Air
(RareNoise RNR091, 2018, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-12-21

Change in the Air Cover art

Trumpeter Cuong Vu’s last outing with his 4tet was the excellent Ballet, which was devoted to the music of Michael Gibbs. With Change in the Air, compositional duties are shared among the players, with Vu, Bill Frisell (guitar), and Ted Poor (drums) each contributing three tunes and Luke Bergman (bass) contributing one. The quality is uniformly high, ranging from moody and meditative to edgy and energetic. My favorites tend to be the more upbeat pieces, like Bergman’s “Must Concentrate,” which starts out with a dual-guitar rhythmic motif that’s a bit like something Pat Metheny might have done in the early 80s, but then builds up to a grand climax. My overall favorite is “March of the Owl and the Bat,” a Vu composition that features Frisell’s most aggressive playing. The insistent rhythmic pattern, which is only very loosely related to a typical march, leads to some great work between the bass and drums. Some of the less energetic tunes have a pleasant wandering feeling, with the guitar and trumpet weaving around each other and Frisell dipping into the atmospheric folk-influenced sound he does so well. “All That’s Left of Me Is You” is a piece from Poor that sounds almost like a lost standard, something Miles Davis might have interpreted back in the 50s. Cuong Vu’s 4tet is an engaging ensemble, and Change in the Air is another great effort for them, a distinctive flavor of modern jazz that differentiates itself even though it doesn’t break with tradition in any extreme ways.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Bill Frisell, Cuong Vu

More info
http://music.cuongvu.com/album/change-in-the-air

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music festival world, and music festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Fareed Haque Group - Cosmic Hug – Fareed Haque needs no introduction in the closely knit circle of jam bands circling North America. His main band, Garaj Mahal, is a touring fixture at nearly any jam based festival organized in the...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues