Sizhukong 丝竹空爵士乐团 (Sizhukong): 紙鳶 Paper Eagle (TW,2009)****
The first full CD from the band under their own name (see also Yuwen Peng) shows a fully mature all-world fusion with Jazz, Fusion and Chinese music influences, mixed together in a relaxed new style, with expressive enough power and drums too to convince and with well enough worked out harmonies between the instruments. While the previous album already revealed a small hint or an occasional touch of a Latin rhythm, this new element is deeper integrated, not as an excuse to ride improvisations upon, but as bringing a new world music element into the jazz composition. It shows thoughtful new combinations with jazz or Chinese origin. “Hakka Mountain Song” has even more. One cannot longer say from which origin the incorporated song is. It shows brushes of blues, colours African roots, especially when berimbau sporadically appears in it too, it is as if the whole world comes together and finds it’s own elements, before returning to jazz or a touch of Latin again, an original track that shows a whole journey in its elements. Piano, flutes, pipa and different harmonic combinations more or less lead the album. This is the kind of professional world Fusion music, expressed and performed as as a creative source of inspirations with its range of influence that makes it a classic album, like the band that makes both albums worth to check out. A shame that such true music albums that are rare and fit into a small exceptional category rarely get much attention. But if you look for quality, go for it.