Friday, 13 January 2017

Nguyên Lê & Ngo Hong Quang feat. Paolo Fresu - Hà Noi Duo, album review


Having enjoyed so much Paolo Fresu’s album Eros of last year, I am pleased to hear him guesting on this collaboration between French/Vietnamese guitarist Nguyên Lê and Ngô Hồng Quang playing more traditional fiddle, lute and other Vietnamese instruments, and including his dramatic vocals. These two merge their modern and traditional approaches as well as sounds, so Western jazz/fusion and Vietnamese melodies, Fresu adding his Miles Davis horn echoes on a number of tracks, like the smooth opener Cloud Chamber. It is the instrumentation and melodic whole [including rock guitar] that dominates, but the powerful vocal of Quang, as on Like Mountain Birds, is highly emotive. On two further tracks, both with Fresu - A Night With You, Gone and The Graceful Seal - that vocal is extended beautifully.

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