Cuong Vu

Vu-Tet | artistShare
By JON GARELICK  |  February 6, 2008
3.5 3.5 Stars
For those who know trumpeter Cuong Vu from his work with the Pat Metheny Group, Vu-Tet could come as a rude shocker — rude in all the right ways. An avant-gardist with an affinity for electronica, Vu here assembles an outfit that’s capable of both chamber-group intimacy and metal bombast. Opening with the soft windy electronic washes of “Intro,” the album breaks into “Accelerated Thoughts” — a “Flight of the Bumblebee” trumpet line over Stomu Takeishi’s slow lurching bass, soon joined in unison by Chris Speed’s tenor. And then all hell breaks loose. The key is Vu’s long-time collaborator Takeishi, who gallops in broad, powerful gestures over Ted Poor’s drums, part Jaco melodic delicacy, part John Paul Jones brawn. (The figure itself suggests the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage.”) “Solitary Confinement” matches trumpet and clarinet for an angular, slow-moving theme over brushes before building with snare rolls to a heavy rock beat and bursts of bass distortion and electrified trumpet noise. When Speed’s clarinet cuts loose, it could be Don Byron playing with Zep. The ballad tracks “Now I Know” and “I Promise,” showing off Vu’s melodic gifts and rich horn tone, make one yearn only the more for a live show by this remarkable band.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , The Beastie Boys, Paul Jones (Executive), Pat Metheny,  More more >
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