Avant-garde jazz bassist/composer Mark Dresser has teamed up with vocalist Jen Shyu to release Synastry, an intimate duo album that explores the possibilities of jazz bass and voice. Shyu, who sings in English, Mandarin and Vocalese on the record, says their chemistry is part of what makes the project so special.
“When Mark and I did our first session, we found that it opened so many new opportunities for space and sound exploration that we never felt the need to include other instruments,” she said. ”Together we really push the possibilities of each of our instruments, exposing their full range in texture and musical function in a way that we feel is unique in the lineage of voice and bass duos.”
On the album, Dresser utilizes his extended techniques to support and highlight Shyu’s dynamic vocal contributions.
“Working with Jen is not like working with a singer; it is more like working with one of the top players on the scene who happens to sing,” the bassist explains. ”Her musicianship is incredible and her improvisational ability so highly developed. She is also a musical scholar in the best sense of the word.”
Mark Dresser and Jen Shyu Synastry Track List:
- Slope a dope
- Quietness of Midnight, Recovery of Life
- Mauger Time
- Floods, Flames, Blades
- Mattress on a Stick
- Chant for Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
- Kind of Nine
- Night Thoughts