Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2021 June 28 • Monday

Happy birthday!

The 680th Soundtrack of the Week is the music from Lucky Man, a documentary about jazz violinist Billy Bang.

The CD alternates tracks of music with dialogue from the movie, which is about Billy Bang traveling in Vietnam, where he had previously been decades earlier, fighting in the Vietnam War.

There's an inherent conflict and tension involved, as you might expect. Bang has a violin instead of a gun this time but he himself says that he doesn't want to talk about his war experiences with the people he meets. For all he knows, he mighth have killed the parents of somebody he's talking to.

The music is beautiful, all live recordings of Bang playing with different Vietnamese musicians, such as saxophonist Trần Mạnh Tuấn, the Banhar Gong Group of Kuntum, the 25-member Phu Dong Family Band and musical instrument collector Duc Dau, who plays something called a Lithophone at one point.

Gorgeous improvisations and collaborations are found wherever you listen. I'd love to see the movie sometime.