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