Cuong Vu Trio with Richard Karpen – Indigo Mist (4 stars)

Cuong Vu Trio with Richard Karpen – Indigo Mist


In recent years, William Parker and Mats Gustafsson have been among the creative musicians offering a radical engagement with Duke Ellington. Comprising mostly of original pieces inspired by some textual or textural aspect of Ellington's music, Indigo Mist takes the electro-acoustic train downtown, with pianist Richard Karpen’s and trumpeter Cuong Vu's jazz trio offering their melodies and improvisations to four iPad weilding live electronics performers.

The barrage of live processed drums at the climax of 'L'Eure Bleu' recalls Louis Belson's famous double-kick drum hurricane from 'Skin Deep', while the upbeat likes of 'Billy' and 'Duke' suggest the 1930s small group sessions taken way out, with a graceful trumpet forced to make a crash landing over a stormy rhythm section. Their version of 'In a Sentimental Mood' goes deep, with Vu's Jon Hassell-like trumpet tracing smoky trails of echo-drenched melody over mysterious clouds of piano and drums.

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