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This, That & the Other - Miscellaneous "Stuff"

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Selected Press

Some critics’ favorable descriptions of my stuff -

Vu composes and plays a kind of music that is both jazz and not-jazz, post-rock without the pretention, metal without the cookie monster voice. Whatever it is, it’s brilliant…but it’s going to take me the whole review to explain what it sounds like. Because the problem is that Cuong Vu hates jazz. Of course, he also loves it. This ambiguity is how we get our best music. It’s fair to say that this is pretty freakin’ great. - Matt Cibula,

Listeners coming from jazz won’t feel lost. Plenty of the genre’s current obsessions are here: odd-meter rhythm patterns, slow soloing over fast rhythms (vice versa too), and a kind of bucolic lyricism…the point of Mr. Vu’s music, at its best, is just that: to make you feel lost in it. – Ben Ratliff, NY Times

Vu carves out intricate melodies that are so immaculately crafted they almost feel simple, pure. In the end Vu’s music homes in on one dynamic sound: om. – Sam Prestianni, Jazziz

Indeed, the blending of contemporary jazz and rock define the Vu-Tet as much as their material does. That the Vu-Tet is able to make so many disparate elements intersect at all, let alone with cohesion and vitality, speaks to Vu and the Band’s marvelous imagination. – Michael J. West, JazzTimes

Cuong Vu has established a firm identity as a progressive futurist, steeped in the technoinfluenced cum electric contemporary sound…This is yet another tremendous effort for Cuong Vu, a distinct, unique stylist and soloist that is rising ever swiftly as one of the very best modern trumpet players on the improvised or jazz music scene. - Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide

Vu's music is a living residue of journeys taken and journeys returned from, in sound. A sound picture-within-a-picture, filled with brimming memory and emotion, it bears the audible traces of a various human life - a life, lived today. - David Fujino,

The first sounds you hear on Cuong Vu's new album are ethereal trumpet moans joined by equally otherworldly clusters of notes emanating from a guitar. These sounds herald the beginning of a musical marriage made in electronic heaven. I'm not sure if Vu is dealing in metaphor, but with music organized and chaotic, at once over-the-edge and strangely engaging, he's created an apt tone poem for the 21st century. - Ron Netsky, Rochester City News

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