Indigo Mist That The Days Go By And Never Come Again on 180g LP
Featuring Cuong Vu & Richard Karpen!
Trumpeter-composer Cuong Vu has established himself as a distinctive voice on the new music/improvising scene for his adventurous work over the past 20 years with the likes of guitarist Bill Frisell, Pat Metheny and Laurie Anderson as well as his body of works as leader. Electro-acoustic composer and pianist Richard Karpen has earned accolades for his work in the classical field as well as for being a cutting edge sonic experimenter of the highest order. Joined by their faculty colleagues at the University of Washington, innovative bassist Luke Bergman and Vu's longstanding bandmate, drummer Ted Poor, these two kindred spirits push the envelope in a myriad of provocative ways on That The Days Go By And Never Come Again, an extended suite that pays tribute to the indelible composing team of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn in a most uncompromising fashion.
The unlikely duo of New York-based improviser-bandleader Vu and Seattle academician Karpen crystallized when they met at the University of Washington. As Vu explains, "One of the things that I did when I became a new faculty here was to research my colleagues, mainly just to get to know about the various interests of the School of Music faculty and get a feel for how I would move about within that musical community. Once I started reading about Richard, I was immediately interested because his work was on the forefront of electro-acoustic music as well as being a composer from the Western Classical Art Music tradition. Much of classical music had such an impact on how I interfaced with music while I was doing my bachelors of music that I've always been interested in working with a serious composer at some point. Then when I heard his music I was completely blown away and knew that I had to work with him, if not to just make music together somehow, then to at least learn from him."
Adds Karpen, "It is very unusual for a ‘classically' trained composer like me, with my particular background and continued interest in experimental music and several decades of very deep involvement in the development of computer music both as a composer and as a programmer, to be head of such a School of Music. And it seems to me to be just as unusual for someone coming from a jazz background like Cuong, who is deeply involved in breaking through artificial boundaries through many kinds of experimentation, would be on the a faculty of such a school. The chance that both of us would be at the same place at the same time, and with one of us heading this school, seems to be one chance in millions! We are both people who know good luck when we see it. Our meeting is just great luck and we have taken full advantage of it!"
After getting to know each other, the idea of collaborating on a project soon emerged. "It became apparent that Richard was a fan of jazz and was into improvisation," Vu adds. "I had Ted Poor coming to the UW as a guest artist and decided to see how that would go if we played trio with Richard on piano. And from that beginning it's been an amazing confluence of musical approaches, traditions and concepts that work so well together. Outside of the musical areas that we overlap and that are perfectly congruent, the best parts of this musical mix are the disparate musical aesthetics, intent and varied points of reference and traditions that make for extremely challenging waters to navigate, but in such an exciting, educational and rewarding way."