Music Reviews

Yuhan Su

Liberated Gesture

Yuhan Su Liberated Gesture

Sunnyside Records

Formats available: Download, CD

They say:

On Liberated Gesture vibraphonist and composer Yuhan Su is joined by Dan Weiss on drums, Caroline Davis on alto sax and some recited poetry, Matt Mitchell on piano and Marty Kenney on bass. Yuhan is a former classical percussionist from Taiwan who came to jazz later on, but she has been living in and working in NYC for over a decade, with three previous albums under her belt.

Much of the music was influenced by abstract expressionist painter, Hans Hartung, whose technique with his brush, prompted Su to have similar freedom in her music. “I’ve come to realize that to be free, to break from all constraints and preconceived notions, is what I have been chasing all along,“ she says in the artist notes. In an email to fans she said, “There are 72 minutes of madness, thoughts, love and memories I sincerely want to share with you. My childhood dream was to become a novelist’ now I’m writing a brand new chapter of my adventure.”

We say:

From the opening of the first track on Liberated Gesture, one could be forgiven for suspecting that the album is led by a sax player and not by a vibraphonist who hails from Taiwan. The album is not an easy role along the merry path of jazz, it pays homage to bebop in funky and in places avantgarde style that may not be uniformly enjoyed as a proverbial cup or even a sip of tea.

Its musicians ooze talent and is on the whole a team effort that leaves space for all to strut their stuff. In places upbeat, in places gentle it requires a second go to fully connect, those who persist and take the time to listen will be rewarded with an earnest musical performance that takes them through rarely heard jazz vistas.

The recording is very good, it places the musicians in the room. The sound is warm’ish, fast and instruments are separated in space in a very convincing fashion. Recommended for the shortening afternoon of a soulful autumn day. Recommended track: Liberated Gesture III – Tightrope Walk.

Reuben Klein

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