2005
Reviews

Cuong Vu | It's Mostly Residual

ArtistShare Recorded in Seattle, Washington, January 2005

A CD report
by David Fujino Sept. 2005

It's Mostly Residual is a sonic record, to date, of trumpeter Cuong Vu's musical trip through life — a life conceptualized as dense urbanized noise-scapes (specifically listen to the hyperactive "Expressions of A Neurotic Impulse"), intercut with advancing and receding episodes of pastoral calm.

The compositions are mostly layered modal songs that harness the power of rock and pop, the ambient colours of new music, and the speed of 'noise music' wherein Vu and guitarist Bill Frisell are the unison voices, joined in solidarity amidst the relentless pulse of the gathering crowd ("It's Mostly Residual").

As always, drummer Ted Poor plays compositionally, executing a well-placed roll, or deftly defining the time along with flexible bassist Stomu Takeishi to bring us to a piece such as "Patchwork", a ballad of dark and light moods which resolves in soothing, sweet chords.

But the perky line of "Brittle, Like Twigs", and Cuong Vu's taut trumpet attack, grows more interactive, as Vu talks back, takes a stand, and totally inhabits Frisell's growing electronic atmospheres.

"Chitter chatter", a spacious guitar feature — all bent cries and decaying chords — inspires optimistic, full-noted trumpet lines that eventually lead the tune all the way back home.

A low drone is the basis of "Blur", slow-moving to a backbeat of drums. Here, Cuong Vu's burnished trumpet sings, lyrical and stately, high above the tune's sadness.

Cuong Vu's music is a living residue of journeys taken and journeys returned from, in sound. A sound picture-within-a-picture, filled with brimming memory and emotion, it bears the audible traces of a various human life — a life, lived today.

Cuong Vu — trumpet
Stomu Takeishi — bass
Ted Poor — drums
(Recruited Guest) Bill Frisell — guitar
A word about ArtistShare
from Cuong Vu

Just in case you aren't familiar with ArtistShare, I'm putting this record out through their services, which is different than a record label type of approach. It's an approach that is designed to build a stronger relationship between the musician and the music fan, and it's a really grass-rootsy type of thing.

Because of that, the record is only available through my website www.cuongvu.com which is "powered" by ArtistShare.

But here is ArtistShare's Mission Statement:

ArtistShare projects are a new and exciting way to experience art, music, film... virtually anything. ArtistShare's patent pending process allows the artists to fund new projects and grow their fan base by sharing the experience of their creation with their audience. Through ArtistShare, artists retain complete artistic and financial control of their work while developing long lasting personal relationships with their fans.

ArtistShare projects are not limited to any one genre or artist. Through artistShare, artists can easily collaborate and create new art forms while simultaneously exposing their audiences to unique and exciting experiences.

You can find out more about ArtistShare by going to www.artistshare.net

We welcome your comments and feedback
• • • • • •
David Fujino
• •
The Live Music Report
davidfujino@thelivemusicreport.com

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