Jade Tongue bonus tracks (available via download only)

by Jen Shyu



Some tracks are hidden from this site, but you will receive them if you buy the whole album!

The tracks are for download only, and are not on the physical CD. Enormous thanks to the incredible band; and to Mom, Dad, Linus, Acid, Craig, Steve, Paty, Soomi, Josh, Andrew, Dan W., Dan S., Jamie, Vin, Eric, Rachel, Brett, Tim, Michelle & the Sisal Garden, and all my dear friends and family. Special thanks to the Tung family, Ralph, Rita, Tina, & the Asian Cultural Council.

Time Out review by David Adler (www.timeout.com/newyork/articles/music/70844/jen-shyu): 'It’s hard to imagine a stronger opener for Jen Shyu’s sophomore release, Jade Tongue, than “Mother Cow’s Companion,” one of three traditional folk songs on the disc. Shyu sings it alone, hinting at blues vibrato as she weaves microtonal melodies in a Taiwanese dialect. “Chapter 33,” with Mandarin text from the Tao Te Ching, follows in a loosely funky vein, the first of several deftly arranged, passionately realized compositions for six instruments and voice.

As the vocalist in Steve Coleman’s experimental funk-world-jazz band, Five Elements, Shyu has contended with rhythmic innovation and improvisational boldness for some time. On Jade Tongue she crafts a personal synthesis, bringing tight, jazz-informed interplay to bear on themes of Asian-American diaspora. The program is a bit long (nearly 80 minutes), with a three-part historical suite, “The Chinese-Cuban Question,” at the center, plus two pieces from Lee-gendary, a theater collaboration involving Shyu and actor Soomi Kim.

From the exacting unisons of “Soomi Line” and “Eye[I] Inside” to the balladic motion of “The Human Color” and “Wayward Son,” the music tests the formidable talents of players like altoist David Binney, trumpeter Shane Endsley and drummer Dan Weiss. Shyu matches their virtuosity and sings with palpable nerve, her enunciation of Chinese an outflow of unpredictable timbres. While English-language testimonies of abuses from 1876 make for clunky lyrics in “The Chinese-Cuban Question,” the accounts add up to a harrowing and effective whole. It’s a remarkable achievement, with rich theatrical implications for the concert setting.'


released March 30, 2009

Personnel: Jen Shyu, music, lyrics, vocals & piano (Track 13, Verse 1 of Track 8); David Binney, alto sax; David Bryant, piano & Rhodes; Shane Endsley, trumpet; Thomas Morgan, bass; Miles Okazaki, acoustic & electric guitar; Dan Weiss, drums; Recorded by Andrew Felluss and assisted by Toby Driver at 58 North 6 Medialabs. Edited by Dan Stein at King Kuts Recording, Mixed by Jamie Saft in Potterville, Mastered by Vin Cin at Electric Plant Studios, Brooklyn. Artwork by Eric Jiaju Lee, Graphic design by Rachel Mui, Photography by Steven Schreiber. All music (c)2008 Jen Shyu. Published by Chiuyen Music (ASCAP).



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Jen Shyu New York

NEW 2015 ALBUM on Pi! pirecordings.bandcamp.com/album/sounds-and-cries-of-the-world? : Experimental vocalist,composer,multi-instrumentalist,dancer,Doris Duke Impact Awardee,Fulbright scholar, having worked w/ Steve Coleman & Anthony Braxton, Shyu has produced 6 albums,becoming the 1st female+ vocalist leader on Pi. She is currently touring "Solo Rites: Seven Breaths,"dir. by Garin Nugroho. ... more


  • Dec 07
    Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Track Name: Night Thoughts
"Bright moon shines before my bed / I wonder is it frost upon the ground / Raise my head to gaze at the clear moon / Bow my head remembering my homeland…" "Night Thoughts" by Li Bai, Translation by Innes Herdan (300 Tang Poems) & Jen Shyu
Track Name: Chapter 1
"The truth that can be told is not the everlasting Truth; the name given to a thing is not the everlasting Name." -- From "Chapter 1" from Dao de Jing, transl. Cheng Lin, World Book Company, Ltd.