Tri Nguyen must be one of the fastest growing
world music acts around these days, he is literally everywhere and that cannot
be a bad thing, as his music is simply delightful to listen to. On this
memorable album he gives us a little slice of tradition and childhood, with
some very inventive and exciting rhythmic changes and some explorative
We can start with a fine example of that through the opening
piece entitled “Paddy, Paddy”. This
is a perfect place to start, a wonderfully rhythmic version of an old North
Vietnamese folk song, the performances here are equally inventive and extremely
addictive to listen to, I have spun it six times now and still I find more
fascinating nuances contained within each time I do so.
Nguyen is a master of the instrument known as Dan-Tranh (A
plucked Zither) and on this next slow paced but quite beautiful opus he has
brought his skills to the front of the stage, the performance here is quite moving,
mixed with the added instrumentation of violin (Son Mach) he creates a truly
colourful landscape of music on “Golden
Steps”, a Southern Vietnamese children’s lullaby.
“Piece of Cake” is an exciting musical
interpretation of a tale about a young boy and a stolen cake, the violin and
percussion manifests a disco style, and thus the musical narrative gained has
created a wonderful juxtaposition between the past and present, and all done
with such charm and vibrancy.
The clever performances within this album are a pleasure to
listen to; the crafted presentation of this next offering is sublime in its
musical textures, and entitled “From
Afar I See Thee”. We can feel a level of emotion pour from this piece, and
the almost symbiotic performance from Nguyen (Dan-Tranh) and Mach (Violin) are
utterly heart felt, and steeped in the energies of a love yet to become.
Now for something completely different, we arrive at a piece
called “Tweet & Love”. Note the
slow but ever increasing tempo to the inevitable crescendo, there is so much in
this piece to take note of, the rhythm at times is distinctly Tango, and other
fusions may also be apparent to the listener that go into making this track the
most fascinating off the album.
One of my personal favourites would be this next offering
from the artist and it is entitled “Ten
Reasons to Love”, it also happens to be the shortest track off the release,
however there is something truly addictive about this offering, it seems to
spin and swirl around you, and like life always in a circle, a fine performance
This is the one; I arrived at the track “Sweet Lies” and found heaven in a musical narrative bathed in the
longest offering off the album at well over six minutes long. This is a true
band performance and almost blues-like in its energies, so let’s mention the
team. On Double Bass we have Huan Do,
Violin Son Mach, and Percussion Dru Nam; on guitar we have Tri Nguyen. Tri Nguyen excels on this fabulous piece, while Huan Do on double bass pulls off what I
can only describe as a true soul touching performance. I can see this is one
track I am going to be playing for years to come, simply brilliant!
Our penultimate offering is the sparkling composition
entitled “Flowers”, once more we see
a delightful global fusion of a musical tapestry, a multi-genre crossing
endeavour as Salsa meets world music, bows to jazz, and jumps into a blissfully
happy colourful Latin/Vietnamese lake of truly masterful music, and yes, you
have guessed it, another absolute favourite of mine.
So we end this wondrous musical experience by hopping on the
back of the “Ebony Horse”. Tri Nguyen finishes with a flourish
here on this offering, a fluent and fast paced song that illustrates new
beginnings and exciting opportunities that can be found together. There are a
few memorable performances here; notable is the extremely powerful but crafted
percussive presentation by Dru Nam that
ends this quite breath taking journey for us.
of Home by Tri Nguyen is an exciting musical
sojourn that will bring thrills, emotion, passion and great colour to its
listeners, it is without doubt one of the finest example of global fusion
styled music I have heard for many years, and it’s infectious vibe and pristine
performances will doubtlessly make this an absolute winner with the fans and
listeners alike, this is certainly one I am more than happy to recommend.