Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Critical Acclaim Pouring In For Helen Sung
“There’s a bit of the iconoclast in pianist Helen Sung. Her musical journey began in the classical world, and didn't take its rebellious tangent into jazz until her college years, after a chance encounter with a Harry Connick, Jr. concert, in a ‘bang on the piano’ solo interlude. And then there was pianist Tommy Flanagan's solo on saxophonist Charlie Parker ‘Confirmation,’ and Sung was jazz bitten, in the best way. Anthem For A New Day, Sung's sixth album—her first on Concord Records—represents a full blossoming of Sung’s talents—as a pianist, band leader, arranger and writer.”
All About Jazz
“There are many highpoints to this excellent set of modern jazz.”
Jazz Inside
“What stands out most on Anthem For A New Day is not only Sung’s fluid and imaginative piano playing but her awe-inspiring talent as a truly unique composer and arranger. Her music is adventurous, personal, and a powerful force to be reckoned with in the jazz world.”
International Review of Music
Anthem is a banner showcase for Sung's swinging style, bright tone, fluid phrasing and artful articulation, as well as for her composing skills. Sung leads a blue-ribbon supportive team on the CD that includes saxophonist Seamus Blake and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, plus elegant guest appearances by Regina Carter and Paquito D’Rivera.”
“The Concord debut Anthem For A New Day is set for release January 28, and it’s already safe to call it the best way to get acquainted with her exceptional talents. For this date, she put together a crack sextet with Seamus Blake (saxes), Ingrid Jensen (trumpet) Reuben Rogers (bass), Obed Calvaire (drums) and Samuel Torres (percussion). John Ellis, Regina Carter and Paquito D’Rivera lend their skills for a handful of tracks. Those are reasons enough to make Anthem an entry point to her catalog, but it’s also the multiplicity she invests in this album, whether it’s mainstream, modern or fusion jazz; acoustic piano or Fender Rhodes. They’re all tied together by the exuberance of her keyboard attack, done with grace, not overly done dramatics.”
Something Else! Reviews
“This Concord debut for Sung is a grounded statement of artistic integrity and the reinvention of the somewhat tired and predictable piano led ensembles that usually wind up with a virtuoso performance accompanied by some afterthoughts. Helen Sung has arrived.” *****