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MP3 Monday: The Color of Love

Sep 16, 2008 | 12:09 Tue

We're a day late with the MP3s this week, as yesterday was a holiday and I took the time to spend it with my family: good copies of Hellboy 2 and The Dark Knight.

This week we're also diverging from the rock/punk thing to cast our gazes on some locally-based jazz music from vocalist Jasmine Chen and pianist Steve Sweeting. Released in August of this year, "The Color of Love" is Jasmine's first album with New York transplant Steve Sweeting, and features straight jazz, Brazilian numbers, Chinese traditional, and original songs.

All thirteen songs on the album are performed in Chinese, including seven originals. Both artists are veterans of the "twocities in tune" concert series at Twocities gallery, as well as other jazz clubs around town, and are performing in the upcoming Shanghai International Jazz festival (albeit separately).

As jazz isn't my forte I defer to local trumpet player J.Q. Whitcomb's assessment of the record taken from his blog:

"I'm a big fan of the music Steve and Jasmine have done on this album... All the music on there is fantastic, and it's a surprise that such simple instrumentation can still create the range of sounds they do on this recording."

Very nice. I also passed the CD on to the SmartShanghai graphic designer Juli de No to select the songs he liked because he's into jazz. He was most taken with the Brazilian stuff on the CD, particularly the second track "Harbor (Encontros e Despedidas)" an interpretation of one of Milton Nascimento's songs done in Chinese. He also liked the bossanova-ish "Hopscotch," and "You Tell Me (Quizas, Quizas, Quizas)," a Chinese interpretation of a song also done by Cuban singer Antonio Machin.

Jasmine Chen & Steve Sweeting - Harbor (Encontros e Despedidas)

Jasmine Chen & Steve Sweeting - Hopscotch

Jasmine Chen & Steve Sweeting - You Tell Me (Quizas, Quizas, Quizas)

Jasmine has a bunch of upcoming shows listed all throughout September on her MySpace page, including a weekly at the JZ Club.

I presume "The Color of Love" is available at the club, along with the recordings of several other locally-based jazz musicians. So you should keep an eye out for it at your next visit, perhaps after checking out Jasmine's next show.