Underground Railroad To (Ita)


aec.imt883397.2 3/16/10 New
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    Underground Railroad To (Ita) Soul Note (Italy)

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Review Text One of the major voices in the highly political Asian improvisation movement of the 1980s and '90s, baritonist Fred Ho on this memorable CD performs everything from modernized swing and Charles Mingus-influenced ensembles to short solo baritone pieces and selections that mix together Western and Eastern instruments. He utilizes two ensembles: the 11-piece Journey Beyond the West Orchestra (which includes such instruments as the sona, erbu, and san shuen along with more conventional jazz horns and rhythm, plus occasionally the somewhat jarring Chinese soprano vocals of Cindy Zuoxin Wang) and the five-piece Afro-Asian Music Ensemble. During a set that includes some charming Asian melodies, the episodic "The Underground Railroad to My Heart" (the disc's high point), "Strange Fruit Revisited," an Easternized "Caravan," and even "Auld Lang Syne," there is no lack of variety, color, sincerity, chance-taking, and impressive musicianship. Well worth checking out. ~ Scott Yanow

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Joys and Solos - 2:28
  2. 2. Underground Railroad to My Heart Suite - 14:35
  3. 3. Bayan Ko [For My Country] - 7:59
  4. 4. Kang Ding Love Song - 3:55
  5. 5. Strange Fruit Revisited - 6:24
  6. 6. Lan Hua Hua - 6:33
  7. 7. Bambaya - 3:00
  8. 8. Caravan - 9:18
  9. 9. Auld Lang Syne - 3:49
  10. 10. Monkey Theme - 3:02
  11. 11. Pig Theme - 3:18

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