Ye Huang, Raven Review
Ye Huang is a clarinetist, saxophonist, and composer from Shenzhen China. Huang is equally proficient in classical, jazz, pop, and funk genres. He started playing the clarinet at the age of 9, studied with his mentor Yi Cheng, principal clarinetist of Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra. At age 12, He was admitted by Juilliard Pre-College. He studied clarinet with Alan Kay and jazz with Ron Blake. He is now attending New England Conservatory and is a Backun Clarinet artist. Huang has an extensive performance history in both classical and jazz. He has performed in the United States to Australia and Hong Kong with elite American Jazz musician, Bryan Carter, Emmet Cohen, and Alex Claffy. They formed the “New York Youngster Jazz Quartet,” and toured all over China. Clarinet legend Eddie Daniels invited Huang to join him to tour China as a guest clarinetist. The famous trumpeter Arturo Sandoval followed suit in April 2017, asking Huang to join him for a 20-day China tour. On March 30th, 2019, Huang released his debut jazz fusion album with his band Nextgen Jazz Quartet, titled Starlight. The album features twelve songs with four penned by Huang. In June of 2019, guitarist Mike Stern recruited Huang to play saxophone for his tour of China. With Stern on guitar, Dave Weckl on drums, and Tom Kennedy on bass, Huang’s spot as the saxophone player is preceded by luminary performers. Mainly Michael Brecker, Bob Franceschini, Bill Evans and Bob Berg. With Huang being associated with a list like that, one knows there are great things to come from this young jazz artist. His latest single, “Raven,” shows his future is bright indeed.Positives: Huang leads his quartet through a Caribbean influenced fusion track with his furious saxophone playing. Bottom Line: “Raven” begins with a catchy bassline that leads to the flowing melody. Huang’s saxophone tone is centered and full-bodied. The composition has a harmonic pattern that is common in the flamenco genre, but the quartet fuses it with Latin jazz and Caribbean influences. Huang’s solo is driving, melodic, and interactive with the rhythm section. The NEXTGEN QUARTET consists of Chris Mondak (bass), Gabriel Feldman (piano), Mario Layne Fabrizio (drums/percussion), and Huang (saxophone). The single “Raven,” has a mysterious and dark name, and the fierceness of the track gives in an aptly titled presence. That’s the short of it!
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Release Date: October 31, 2019