Reviews that mention Ambrose Akinmusire

March 7, 2016

Jen Shyu & Jade Tongue

Sounds and Cries of the World
Pi Recordings Pi 61

By Ken Waxman

One of the musicians of Asian heritage who are interpolating currents from eastern cultures into American-based improvised music, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jen Shyu approaches the task earnestly, rejecting surface exoticism. Like a jeweler who sources the most appealing stones for an exquisite necklace no matter their origin, Shyu places ethnic-tinged sounds within unique settings. She may sing in Javanese, Korean, Tetrum (from East Timor) and Indonesian plus English, but no attempt is made to reproduce traditional frameworks. Besides piano, she accompanies herself on gat kimr two-string Taiwanese lute; gayageum, 12-string Korean zither, ggwaenggwar, Korean gong; and kenmark, a Javanese idiophone. But these instruments are integrated with so-called western tones from Mat Maneri’s viola, Ambrose Akinmusire’s trumpet, Thomas Morgan’s bass and Dan Weiss’ drums. MORE