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Jon Jang Octet - Island: Immigrant Suite No. 1 (1997)

27-09-2014, 16:24
Jazz | World | Ethnic | FLAC / APE

Jon Jang Octet - Island: Immigrant Suite No. 1 (1997)

Artist: Jon Jang Octet
Title Of Album: Island: Immigrant Suite No. 1
Year Of Release: 1997
Label: Soul Note
Genre: Modern Creative, Ethnic Jazz, Soul Note
Quality: FLAC (tracks+.cue)
Bitrate: Lossless
Total Time: 40:31
Total Size: 211 MB
WebSite: amazon


1. Diaspora Tale No. 1 (For My Parents) 13:02
2. Burial Mound 5:25
3. First Interlude / Yellow Woman 10:46
4. Second Interlude / Appendix, Poem 31: "Random Thoughts While Staying In The Building" 6:49
5. Yellow Woman (Reprise) 2:41
6. The Weak Shall Conquer, Poem 39: "To Return The Violent Wave That Had Fallen" 1:48

Jon Jang (Jang Jian Liang): piano
Genny Lim: vocals, Tibetan "singing" bowl, dhamaru
Francis Wong: tenor saxophone, flute
Jim Norton: soprano saxophone, English horn, alto flute, copyist
Min Xiao Fen: pipa
Wang Hong: zhonghu, erhu and guanzi
Elliot Humberto Kavee: cello, percussion
Royal Hartigan: percussion

I remember hearing on NPR about the collection of poems entitled Island - Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island 1910-1940. It struck me as a particularly telling way in which to suggest what the immigrants experienced. Text from that book is used by Asian improv artist Jon Jang to express his reaction to the book. Think transoceanic journey, culture shock and a massive bureaucracy of queues and paperwork. This all experienced by humans of feeling and will, not mute units. The reflections are made in this compositions of tranquil interludes, jazz colliding with Asia and metaphored through an Oriental lens, and challenging, dissonant improvisation. The piece would not be as successful without the expressive reading and singing of Poetry and History coauthor Genny Lim. It also brings one strike against the recordings. Ms. Lim's voice is mostly in the midrange, but her level is too low in the final mix. To understand her words you may edge the volume up and get caught by the music (now too loud) after her.

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