This is an album I really do find strange for a few reasons. Not because you would expect the album to be amazing because there is no reason to think that about any album or anything until you really experience it. Instead, I have the German guitarist Markus Reuter and Benjamin Shafer in mind when I think about this. They are world class musicians who are able to really enhance and enable world class, brilliant music. You could easily expect any song or any album that they create to be some of the best in the world, and I’m sure you could compare them to the famous German footballers of Ozil and Muller. Despite where they are or what they are doing, you can always guarantee a world class performance and a truly entertaining time. Sure, you may think it a bit cheap that I compared them to other Germans, but instead of laziness I like to think of it as making an homage. There isn’t really a perfect way to sum this up so I’ll just say it this way. Using a soundstage, they used a modern way to deliver less modern work. I think that is probably the easiest and best way for me to sum it up since I don’t really have a great way of words, but for a Jazz song I will say I didn’t entirely feel the jazz.
I will say that the explosive and yet somehow disciplined way Yang has been created is something that I really do find truly impressive, especially once you realise that the album is really created as if it is a prog-rock album. And I really do mean that as literally as possible since it comes off like one. The songs are unsurprisingly sharp and cutting, yet while at the same time being really assertive without dulling the senses. It is also hard to deny that the movement and fluidity of the songs are also just as amazing to behold. I could talk for hours explaining how it is a Jazz infusion of prog-rock but really it is just a great album.
I was listening to it the other day with a few friends and while they are able to very eloquently describe the album in only a way a really shitty critic would, the fact is it is an enjoyable listen if you are a fan of that music. It obviously does not appeal to everyone in the Jazz audience or further but songs don’t really have to. Albums don’t really have to. Nothing has to cater to people’s whims and wants and that is not what life is really about. Great songs and great music is fun to listen to and fun to experience because you can take your own thoughts and own feelings into it without having to have expectations. Nobody wants to have drilled into them how good an album or a song is and how much you need to listen to it and enjoy it. Everything is relative and you are supposed to take these things and enjoy them for what you can, not for what everyone else can.
If you are a fan of prog rock music and if you are a fan of Jazz you will enjoy this album. That doesn’t mean that you will love the album and that doesn’t mean that this will be the greatest album of all time and you must love it or otherwise you are a liar. Take it for what it is and you will enjoy it. There have been many, many bad songs that have been released recently and I hated to listen to them let alone have to review them but I did. It is my job and I really don’t have a choice. I love jazz and that is really all that matters, so I love the music that I love and any music that I don’t enjoy I just won’t listen to again. So give this album a try if you want to hear something unique and you will not be disappointed.
By the way, Jazz Song Book is sponsored by Merton Loft Conversion, so check them out please! http://www.mertonloftconversion.com/ They have guest blogged for us a few times and they asked for a shout out!