Thursday, July 23, 2009

Once more with feeling from Taiwan’s drummer king Rich Huang

By Nancy T. Lu

Taiwan’s drummer king Rich Huang has gone Live Unplugged to fan excitement among his avid followers. He waited 11 years to launch his second album, “Rich Huang City Jazz Happy Dog.” In fact, the album launching not too long ago in Taipei marked his 40-year milestone in the jazz scene.

Drummer Huang in this particular project, using the KHS Hall as recording venue, brings together some of Taiwan’s finest jazz talents: pianist and composer of “Cape No. 7” fame Fred Lui, trumpeter Stacey Wei, alto saxophone artist Tung Shunen Wen, double bass player Gil Kuo, guitarist Eric Chuang and tenor saxophone performer Kunter Chang. Past collaborations have made it convenient for them to participate in this jazz music venture.

The recording opens with “It’s Not Easy” followed by “Summer Wave” and “Parallel Wonderland.” Then come “Blues for Rich,” “Rose Rose I Love You” and “Rich’s Ray.”
In the second half of the album recording are: “Happy Dog,” “Warner Street,” “When Sunny Gets Blue” and “Work Song.” “The Crimson of the Four Seasons,” “Life of the Party” and “Whisper Not” are the final three selections to jazz up Huang’s newest music album.

Asked why he took this long to embark on his second recording project, Huang confessed that he wanted to spring a truly special music feast on his fans.

Huang began his music career at the age of eight. He first took lessons in classical guitar. He also learned to play the piano, electric organ, bass and so forth.

At the age of 14, he became fascinated with jazz percussion playing. He quickly acquired the reputation of “Taiwan’s drummer king.”

In the 1970s all the way to the 1990s, Huang got involved in producing commercial jingles, movie soundtracks and song albums. In fact, his outstanding work in the field of Taiwan pop music spans three generations.

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