Chinese Folksongs in a Jazz Mode
This is a great easy-listening CD - the vocals are done in soft-spoken Mandarin and English - and the backing Jazz Band (Small World & Friends) is as classy as they come. A Great Listen for World Music lovers! Realizing a 15-year dream, vocalist Mary Ann Hurst translated traditional Chinese folksongs into English and performs them in the jazz idiom, singing in both Mandarin and English. Liner notes and lyrics are in English, to include lyrics in Chinese characters and the romanization system, Pinyin. Ten traditional Chinese melodies were chosen for their intrinsically lovely melody lines. Instrumental back-up is by top jazz musicians who perfectly interpret the spirit of the project. Reviews: "A delight to the ears, thanks to incomparable jazz vocalist Mary Ann Hurst and an exclusive ensemble of Texas-based musicians. Hurst beautifully interprets thematic folks songs through the universal language of melodious instrumentation, chiming in with her flawless Mandarin...a very unique and unorthodox amalgamation of genres. - San Antonio Current 'Hurst's voice glides from English to Chinese with a buttery smoothness...belies her years of commitment to both the jazz idiom and the Mandarin tongue' - A.P. writer Alexa Olesen "Highly recommended as a musical experience, and a good way to expand your knowledge of Mandarin Chinese!" - Amazon.com "Your surprising yet fantastic CD [is] indeed a jewel. There are strong elements of light jazz and also poetic reminiscence of Chinese mentality. Anyone with some jazz background will appreciate this album effortlessly. The whole project conveys an artful rendition of your unique understanding of jazz a well as Chinese folk music...a well-blended version of our modern longing to reach out to our roots and to express simple beauty in our common humanity. The jazz motif is a wonderful format for your love of Chinese culture." - C.C. Wang, Metropolitan Museum of Art collector and artist "A one-of-a-kind record. Mary Ann Hurst lived in China long enough to know deeply the language and the music... a very musical voice, the feeling she gives to these songs is unique...[this is] truly world music." - Francesco Martinelli, Pisa, Italy.