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Recently featured on the cover of Jazziz Magazine,  Nguyên Lê is a prime example of the international nature of today's jazz community. Born in Paris from Vietnamese parents, he began to play drums at the age of 15, then took up guitar & electric bass. After graduating in Visual Arts, he majored in Philosophy, writing a thesis on Exoticism. He has recorded 10 album as a leader, and has worked and recorded with Ray Charles, Chris Potter, Peter Erskine, Paul McCandless, Art Lande, Danny Gottlieb, Gil Evans, Quincy Jones, Carla Bley, and many others.

Presented by Fresno City College & JazzFresno, with support from Friends of the Arts, and a grant from the Community Enrichment Program administered by the Fresno Arts Council. 

 

"A universe where the alliance between acoustic & electric, improvisation & writing, inner delicacy & virtuosic expressivity reach the ideal balance."

Sylvain Siclier, Le Monde, April 26, 2005
 

"There’s something marvelously ethereal in Nguyên Lê’s music, who flies very high, somewhere between Hendrix’s vertigo & Vietnamese ancient memories. No kidding, Nguyên Lê is one of today’s greatest guitar players."
J.Y.C. Zurban Paris, 19/04/2005

 

Nguyên Lê is a self-taught musician, with a wide scope of interests: Rock & Funk (Jim Cuomo, Madagascar tour 84), Jazz standards & contemporary Jazz (bass player with Marc Ducret, guitar player with Eric Barret), Improvised Music (Yves Robert), Singers (Ray Charles), Contemporary Music (André Almuro, Tona Scherchen, Marius Constant, Mauricio Kagel), Ethnic Music : African & Caribbean with ULTRAMARINE , Algerian with Safy Boutella & Cheb Mami, Indian with Kakoli, Turkish with Kudsi Erguner, Vietnamese with his "Dan Bau" (traditional one-stringed instrument) teacher Truong Tang.

 

Nguyên Lê writes about the upcoming Tiger's Tail Tour:

 

My encounter with Art Lande, american piano player, in 1986, was a big step on my musical path. With the first notes we played together I understood some essential aspects of jazz : a music which has no other meaning than the sharing of a common passion, the instant flow of improvisation, and that rare alliance of body & soul, poetry & science. Such is the freedom of jazz : everything is possible when you mean it, with an intense & open mind.


Art Lande is a mythical piano player whose contribution to the making of the ECM sound can be heard on such recordings as Rubisa Patrol, as well as A Shift in the Wind (trio with Gary Peacock & Elliot Zigmund), & also Red Lanta, in duo with Jan Garbarek. A facetious yet profound master of improvisation, he is also reknown for his innovative concepts of music pedagogy. He was a key partner on my first two recordings, Miracles (1989, with Peter Erskine & Marc Johnson) & Zanzibar (1992). That was the time before the electric & ethnic vibes of my following projects.It was natural to associate Paul McCandless, already featured on my 2nd CD Zanzibar, & who has been a friend of Art Lande's for a very long time. Mostly renowned as the reed player of the OREGON quartet, one of the first world music bands, Paul brings us his unique sound & lyricism along with his knowledge of classical european tradition & history of jazz. His instruments are rare, as much as his expressivity on the oboe, the soprano & sopranino saxophones & the bass clarinet.

 

Patrice Heral, drummer & percussion player from Montpellier (south of France) is one of the most requested french musicians all over the world. He has worked with the Vienna Art Orchestra, Maria Pia de Vito, John Taylor, Dhafer Youssef, Terje Rypdal, Markus Stockhausen or Chano Dominguez. Patrice embodies a quality which is essential to me : an open & strong culture, rooted in the jazz soul & today's musical languages as well as in the wide vocabulary of non-western music. With this new quartet I wish to get back to the precious & rich understanding which relates me to these musicians, and extend this spirit with all that I have learned from the projects I have carried since : the cultures from Asia (Tales from Viet-Nam, Huong Thanh), Africa (Ultramarine, Maghreb & Friends), and the modernity of Electronica. After the electric trance of my last CD Purple - Celebrating Jimi Hendrix , coming back to the sense of detail, nuance & restraint; back to other sources.

 

Tiger's Tail Quartet: 

Nguyên Lê - electric & acoustic guitars, electronics & computer

Art Lande - acoustic piano

Paul McCandless - oboe, english horn, soprano sax, bass clarinet

Patrice Héral - percussion