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Vietnam: Reflections

5 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 10, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

'Vietnam: Reflections' offers a portrait of the changes that have occurred over the past 30 years in both Vietnam and America. Blending the objective overview of a mature artist with the passionate subjectivity of his own experiences, Billy has created a precious gem that offers deeper insights with each listening. Justin Time. 2005.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Reflections
  2. Ru Con
  3. Lock & Load
  4. Ly Ngua O
  5. Doi Moi
  6. Reconciliation 1
  7. Waltz Of The Water Puppets
  8. Trong Com
  9. Reconciliation 2


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 10, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Justin Time Records
  • ASIN: B0008G2I8S
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,984 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
If you are like me, one of the things that sells you on CDs you have not heard is the listing of the personnel. Consider the musicians who took part in this May, 2004 recording:
Billy Bang- violin and composer (except for the 3 traditional Vietnamese songs)
James Spaulding- alto sax and flute
Henry Threadgill- flute (only on Reflections)
Ted Daniel- trumpet
Butch Morris- conduction (I think only on Reconciliation 1)
John Hicks- piano
Curtis Lundy-bass
Michael Carvin- drums
Ron Brown- percussion
Co Boi Nguyen- vocals
Nhan Thanh Ngo- dan tranh (a sixteen string zither-like instrument)
The combination of Bang, Hicks, Threadgill and Daniel alone would have sold me on this CD. The addition of the Vietnamese musicians along with the great rhythm section of Carvin and Lundy is just a wonderful bonus.
This recording has a history. It is the second recording that Bang made in an effort to come to terms with his experience during the Vietnam War.
The orginal recording Vietnam: The Aftermath also included Daniels, Carvin, Morris and Brown in part because they too were Vietnam vets. What I find interesting in part is that musicians like Spaulding (who is one of the great heroes of the '60s Blue Note era)were jazz musicians who those guys may have listened to while in Nam. Someone like Threadgill (who also served in the War - see the section on his life in A Power Stronger Than Itself, pp. 176-178) would have been among their peers who infuenced them. In effect, what you have on this CD is a combination of the knowledge/approaches to jazz that are associated with hard bop (Hicks), Blue Note (Spaulding), AACM (Threadgill) and New York downtown scene (Bang during his String Trio of New York years).
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Format: Audio CD
I was intriuged by the subj of this not having previously heard any other of Billy Bang's releases. I was hooked by the opening hard bop groove of "Reflections". It blends well with Asian melodies and is a fine opener. "Ru Con" i believe is a VIetnamese folk song done exceptionally well with Co Boi Nguyen on vocals. On "Lock and Load" I was expecting a dark and sullen sort of atmosphere however this is one swirling, romping, all out jam.

From the packaging (exceptional!!) to the sound quality this is a release to have.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a great follow-up to his first cd on Vietnam I was really impressed with the whole texture of the cd I would truly recommend it as a must buy
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Format: Audio CD
I've been a huge Billy Bang fan since his days with the String Trio of New York, and for me this is his best recording yet--even better than Vietnam: the Aftermath. It seamlessly blends the Asian and Western elements, and the untempered aspect of Oriental music is a perfect setting for Bang's tart, bluesy intonation. All of the playing is stellar: sensitive, passionate, and technically superlative. The songs are beautiful, too, and the textures are fascinating. Best of all, from my point of view, the whole recording has the feel of those classic Impulse records, where everything seemed possible and the world provided the canvas for the sound. It's hard for me to imagine anyone not enjoying this CD. And if it provides an introduction to Billy Bang's broader catalog, then so much the better (you should go out of your way to find those String Trio of New York recordings).
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is really a though-provoking CD. Bang uses old-school Vietnamese music as the basis for jazz improv, and incorporates traditional Vietnamese instruments in the mix. It is a bit of a stretch from jazz standards. I got a few ideas from this CD and may do something similar based on NE Thai music.
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Topic From this Discussion
Intonation
I think if you study the sophistication of what Mr. Bang pulls out in extended settings - - his phrasing, note groupings, harmony and so forth - - you might notice the liberties he takes with intonation, the shadings, are deliberate choices he makes for strong dramatic effects, as well as a kind... Read More
Jun 18, 2006 by Carey Fosse |  See all 2 posts
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