HELEN SUNG, (re)CONCEPTION

Pianist Helen Sung has a mellifluous style that’s polished in all the right ways and her fifth recording, “(re)Conception” (Steeplechase Records), sets her in a trio format with two dynamic improvisers, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash. A New York musician, Sung brings her game to this meticulous recording by playing fast and loose on the title tune where she steamrolls through the changes with peerless resolve and later, on Frank Loesser’s “I Believe In You,” where Sung provides a host of warmly engaging turns over a steady groove. The session was called together on short notice and her basic arrangements form the basis for gorgeous renditions of tunes by Burt Bacharach as well as Duke Ellington (a terrific and jaunty “C Jam Blues”) and she exploits the wonderful nuances of Carl Sigman’s “Crazy, He Calls Me” with an ethereal flair. Sung’s playing gives plenty of props to the late pianist Tommy Flanagan, echoing his style and melodic devices, but Sung is no doppelganger – here she oversees a harmonious confluence of stylish solos, cooled-out vamps and finger-popping swing on this straight-ahead winner. (9 tracks; 57:11 minutes)
   

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JAZZ IN SPACE: HELEN SUNG, (re)CONCEPTION

Monday, June 6, 2011

HELEN SUNG, (re)CONCEPTION

Pianist Helen Sung has a mellifluous style that’s polished in all the right ways and her fifth recording, “(re)Conception” (Steeplechase Records), sets her in a trio format with two dynamic improvisers, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Lewis Nash. A New York musician, Sung brings her game to this meticulous recording by playing fast and loose on the title tune where she steamrolls through the changes with peerless resolve and later, on Frank Loesser’s “I Believe In You,” where Sung provides a host of warmly engaging turns over a steady groove. The session was called together on short notice and her basic arrangements form the basis for gorgeous renditions of tunes by Burt Bacharach as well as Duke Ellington (a terrific and jaunty “C Jam Blues”) and she exploits the wonderful nuances of Carl Sigman’s “Crazy, He Calls Me” with an ethereal flair. Sung’s playing gives plenty of props to the late pianist Tommy Flanagan, echoing his style and melodic devices, but Sung is no doppelganger – here she oversees a harmonious confluence of stylish solos, cooled-out vamps and finger-popping swing on this straight-ahead winner. (9 tracks; 57:11 minutes)
   

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