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Album Review

Most of the selections on this CD (including "A Night In Tunisia," "Never Give Up," "Butterfly Lovers Song" and the four-part "Concerto for Jazz Ensemble and Taiko") had been recorded on pianist Jon Jang's previous Never Give Up! on the AsianImprov label. However, these renditions were cut live, and after two more years of familiarizing themselves with the music, Jang's Pan-Asian Arkestera was able to perform versions that were generally superior to the earlier effort. Consisting of three reeds, trumpeter John Worley, trombonist Jeff Cressman, bassist Mark Izu, drummer Anthony Brown and Susan Hayase on taiko (a Japanese drum) along with the pianist/leader, the Arkestra displays a highly original sound, blending together advanced jazz with strong hints of traditional Chinese music.

Biography

Born: March 11, 1954 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A co-founder of the Asian Improv Records label, jazz pianist, composer and bandleader Jon Jang has helped revitalize the jazz music scene in San Francisco's Bay Area since the late '80s. The L.A.-born musician grew up in Palo Alto, CA and didn't begin learning the piano until he was 19, then studied piano performance at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he received his degree in 1978. Jang has led groups including a sextet (Two Flowers on a Stem, 1996), an octet (The Immigrant Suite Number...
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Self Defense!, Jon Jang
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