Connie Han, “Crime Zone” from Crime Zone (2018): Something Else! premiere

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feature photo: Raj Naik

First the piano plays a catchy figure. Then it’s played again with bass. And then, the tenor sax joins in. That’s how “Crime Zone” gets going, the title track from piano master Connie Han’s new album coming forth soon from Mack Avenue Records, and it only gets better from there. Playing all-acoustic for this track but bringing a fresh, contemporary perspective, Han heads a lively quartet completed by Edwin Livingston (bass), Walter Smith III on tenor sax and Han’s mentor (and the album’s producer) Bill Wysaske on drums.

After a barrage of inspired solos from Smith and Han, Han pivots to a repeating riff engaging directly with Livingston before Smith joins in the fun as the three charge toward not one but two false endings.

Crime Zone follows only her DIY release The Richard Rodgers Songbook, but these set of ten songs — most of which she composed with Wysaske — reveal a fully developed, twenty-two year old talent. Having never had any formal training from a piano teacher, Han has developed a percussion-attuned style that’s adept at left handed polyrhythms while her right hand solos with depth and purpose. About half the tracks feature her in a trio setting, and she thrives either way. I have a feeling that we’ll be hearing much more from her…and about her.

“Crime Zone” is premiering in the stream above and also now available for download via all the major music outlets. Crime Zone the album will drop on October 12, 2018.


S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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