36th Vilnius Jazz Festival. 12-16 October, 2022
Cuong Vu trio Vilnius Jazz'2004
Cuong Vu trio (USA):

Cuong Vu - trumpet
Stomu Takeishi - bass
Ted Poor - drums

Considered to be "one of the most distinctive stylists on New York's Downtown music scene" (Downbeat), Cuong Vu has been garnering rave reviews as one of the leaders of a new generation of innovative musicians.

Most recently he was mentioned as one of the top 50 young Jazz Artists in an article called "The New Masters" from the British magazine, "Classic CD".

Since moving to New York in 1994, Cuong has been quite active leading his groups JackHouse, Scratcher, Vu-tet, and the Cuong Vu trio. It has been with these groups that he has been breaking new musical ground by developing his own unique language in both his improvisations and compositions.

Cuong began playing the trumpet at the age of 11, five years after emigrating to Seattle, WA from Vietnam. His intense dedication and love for music led him to a full scholarship at the New England Conservatory of Music where he received his Bachelor of Music in Jazz studies with a distinction in performance. While at NEC, Cuong was greatly influenced by saxophonist Joe Maneri who led him to search for his own sound that not only emphasized originality but also pushed the established sonority and role of the trumpet into areas that he hadn1t explored. In addition to Maneri, Cuong was also influenced by the contemporary classical music he encountered at NEC from which he found new forms and textures to apply to his playing and writing.

Since his arrival in New York, Cuong has toured internationally and has been performing regularly as a leader and a side-man. He has performed and/or recorded with Pat Metheny, David Bowie, Laurie Anderson, Mitchell Froom, Cibo Matto, Chris Speed, Dave Douglas, Gerry Hemingway, Myra Melford, Dougie Bowne and Holly Palmer. In addition to his many collaborations, Cuong released two recordings as a leader in 2000, "Bound" (OmniTone) and "Pure" (Knitting Factory Records), both are among the top ten picks for best album of 2000 (Jazziz, May 2001). His most recent CD, "Come Play With Me" was also picked among the top 5 releases of 2001 (Jazztimes, May 2002).

Cuong has recently wrapped up recording with the Pat Metheny Group for their new CD, set to be released in early 2005. That release will mark the beginning of another world tour.

Other recent recordings to look out for, involving Cuong are Chris Speed's "Swell Henry", and Myra Melford's "The Tent".

Born in Mito, Japan in 1964, Stomu Takeishi came to the US in 1983 to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

Upon completion of his degree in 1986, he moved to Manhattan to continue his studies at the New School. He has lived in New York City ever since.

Performed and recorded with:

Don Cherry, Henry Threadgill, Butch Morris Dave Liebmann, Mick Goodrick, Paul Motian, Myra Melford, Cuong Vu, Badal Roy, David Tronzo, Erik Friedlander, Harriet Tubman trio, Satoko Fujii, Andy Laster, Patrick Zimmerli, Jon Rosenberg, Natsuki Tamura, Curtis Hasselbring, Oscar Noriega, Briggan Kraus, Dave Ballou, Aaron Alexander, Badal Roy, Joey Sellers, Laurent Brondel, Joe Fiedler, Luiz Bueno, Ken Butler, Dave Castiglione, Tony Malaby.

Stomu Takeishi has played electric fret-less bass in a variety of jazz settings throughout the '90s and 2000s. A member of Myra Melford's Crush Trio (with drummer Kenny Wollesen), and Erik Friedlander's Topaz (with brother Satoshi Takeishi on percussion), Stomu Takeishi has also played in trumpeter Cuong Vu's group Vu-Tet, and in the North Indian-influenced Alankar. Takeishi performs on Satoko Fujii's album, South Wind, and has played with such musicians as Henry Threadgill, Don Cherry, Randy Brecker, and Wynton Marsalis.

Over the twenty years that he has resided in the US, Stomu Takeishi’s reputation as a talented and innovative bass player has earned him features in many international jazz festivals. He is well known in the jazz scene in New York, and often plays at major well-known venues in NYC, the US and in Europe.

Press On Stomu Takeishi
Bill Milkowski, "Bass Player" Magazine

Like a white-water rafter going over the falls, Stomu Takeishi is at his best when jumping headlong into another daring improvisation-taking chances and breaking the rules. Since arriving in New York in 1986, Takeishi has been the choice bassist for numerous adventurous composer/improvisers on the city’s Downtown jazz scene. Whether he’s rumbling subliminally, offering melodic counterpoint, or spontaneously composing with real-time looping, Stomu emphasizes space rather than chops and hearing rather than riffing.

Prized for his combination of forceful execution, high sensitivity, and sense of daring, Stomu has been tapped by forward-thinking bandleaders such as, among others, saxophonist Henry Threadgill, conductor Butch Morris, drummer Paul Motian, slide guitarist David Tronzo, trumpeter Cuong Vu, and pianist Myra Melford. All have come to rely on him to deliver much more than just covering the root and walking on the low end. "I approach it as if I’m the one who composed the music," says Takeishi. "I try to understand the compositions from the inside out, how they work, and what I can do with them. One thing I learned from Henry Threadgill was to come up with a game plan of how you’re going to deal with those harmonies and rhythms. But you also have to go by ear, so that whenever you hear something that intrigues you, even if it’s against your game plan, you go for it. Don’t trust your plan-trust what you hear in the moment."

Equipped with remarkable facility on his fretless electric and acoustic Klein 5-strings, Takeishi follows the music’s flow and dynamics wherever they might lead and reacts accordingly. If the band builds to a shrieking crescendo, he may pound the strings with his fist. If he’s playing with instruments like harmonium and tablas, he might bring it down to a whisper and caress the strings, chording or gently palm-muting and thumb-plucking…

Ted Poor graduated from the Eastman School of Music in 2003 where he earned his BM in Jazz Performance and taught on the faculty of the Community Education Division. While at Eastman, Ted studied drum set Rich Thompson and percussion with John Beck. Now a resident of New York City, Ted performs and records a variety of music with many different ensembles. For the past year he has worked with the guitarist Ben Monder's Quartet and played on Monder's most recent CD to be released later in 2004 (featuring Kermit Driscoll, Skuli Sverrison and Theo Bleckman). Ted is also a member of trumpeter Cuong Vu's band, with whom Ted tours Euorpe and the US. A recent gig featured guitarist Bill Frisell at Seattle's Earshot Jazz Festival. In addition to tours throughout the coming year, the trio plans on recording an album for Pat Metheny Records. In March of 2004, Ted accompanied saxophonist Chris Potter to Frankfurt, Germany to perform and record Potter's music with the HR Big Band and will be returning in the spring to perform and record the music of Ornette Coleman. Ted is also a member of the Jerome Sabagh Quartet which recently recorded an album entitled "North" for the Fresh Sounds label.

Ted is a member of groups based outside of NYC as well. He plays with the Rochester based trio Paradigm Shift and performed on their upcoming release "Shift Happens" (Nagel Heyer Records) featuring Joe Locke, Wycliffe Gordon and Marcus Printup. Ted also plays with the Respect Sextet, Jerseyband and Neos- three experimental groups that were formed at Eastman.

© Jûratë Kuèinskaitë


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