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by Zhongyu

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paintelectric thumbnail
paintelectric This album is a syncretic stew. The focus of the album is on the interacting timbres. For the most part, the role of melody in this music takes a back seat to the harmonic and timbral tensions that arise from stirring together jazz-style drumming, China-influenced instrumentation, solid electric guitar. and spicing it with a wide variety of instrumental timbres that are kind of like a five-spice flavor of sound.
Carsten Pieper
Carsten Pieper thumbnail
Carsten Pieper This instrumental US band combines quite a handful of styles (and instruments) in a very attractive way. The Chinese influence (the cover, the name!) is evident, prog rock and jazz not the least. I chose Wanderland Wonderlust as favorite track due to its calm, hypnotic and beautiful melody but if you prefer to listen to the band in some kind of Crimson mode, check out Torture Chambers Of Commerce! Favorite track: Wanderland Wonderlust.
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  • ZHONGYU - "Zhongyu" (CD)
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MBBL 05:17


Zhongyu is an American band with a Chinese name and an attitude that encompasses the full spectrum of musical sounds and sources. Composer Jon Davis teams up with three members of Moraine and an experienced jazz drummer to create a sound that blends influences from Rock in Opposition (Univers Zero and Present), progressive rock (King Crimson), jazz (electric Miles Davis and composers such as George Russell), and Asian music. Whether it involves plugging a traditional Chinese instrument into a modular synthesizer or running a bass clarinet through a wah-wah pedal, pushing boundaries (or denying their existence) is the core of the band’s identity.

“Zhongyu” means “finally” in Mandarin Chinese, and Jon chose it for the project’s name because he “finally has a band.” He has been making music since the 70s in everything from classic-rock cover bands (before it wasclassic) to punk rock to electronic experiments. Living in Beijing for three years provided the inspiration for assembling a crew to realize his singular dream of a music that combined all these elements.

Zhongyu is a band that aims to balance the opposites of music: composition and improvisation, serenity and chaos, harmony and dissonance, complexity and simplicity, acoustic and electric. With guitarist Dennis Rea on board as co-producer and legendary engineer Steve Fisk at the controls, Zhongyu is a powerful, brilliantly executed, and strikingly original debut album that has been years in the making.


released September 1, 2016

Jon Davis: Chapman Stick, guzheng, Mellotron, ARP 2600
Dennis Rea: electric guitar, resonator guitar
Alicia DeJoie: electric violin
James DeJoie: baritone saxophone, flute, bass clarinet
Randy Doak: drums, percussion
plus special geust
Daniel Barry: trumpet (in MBBL)

All titles composed and arranged by Jon Davis (BMI)
Produced by Jon Davis and Dennis Rea
Recorded by Steve Fisk at Sound House and Arundel Gardens, Seattle
Mixed by Steve Fisk at Arundel Gardens in association with Jon Davis and Dennis Rea
Mastered by Steve Turnidge at UltraViolet Studio


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