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Wong Fei-Hong Meets Little Strudel
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Edward Ratliff's Rhapsodalia
"Wong Fei-Hong Meets Little Strudel"

strudelmedia CD007
 
An urbane, groovy mix of avant-jazz and world musics, from Kung Fu movies to cha cha. Featuring "The Wong Fei-Hong Theme" and a tribute to Hong Kong martial arts actor Hung Yan-Yan. With Michael Attias (saxophones), Sam Bardfeld (violin), John Hebert (bass), Kevin Norton (drums and vibraphone) and Edward Ratliff (compositions, trumpet, cornet, trombone, euphonium, accordion).

"This ensemble achieves a wonderfully large sound for a quintet, in the manner of the grand old Mingus groups where the whole was always greater than the sum of the parts.... A great disc."
       Robert Spencer, Cadence


More info:
»Listen
»Reviews
»Who is Wong Fei-Hong?
»Credits
»Photos of Hung Yan-Yan and Jet Li
 

Click the play button to hear an audio clip

01. Bip Bip (3:22)
02. Nothing But Love (4:07)
03. Hotcakes (4:28)
04. Little Strudel (6:21) for Anja Hitzenberger
05. Fish Song (7:42)
06. Milos the Cat (6:51)
07. Who Rota This Tune? (5:27)
08. The Wong Fei-Hong Theme (aka The General's Edict) (5:14)
09. When the Master's Away (10:53) for Hung Yan-Yan
10. l'Histoire des Nuits Passées (4:45)


Personnel:
Michael Attias, alto and baritone saxophones
Sam Bardfeld, violin
John Hebert, acoustic and electric bass
Kevin Norton, drums and vibraphone
Edward Ratliff, compositions, trumpet, cornet,
        trombone, euphonium, accordion

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Reviews:
"...composer-brassmeister-accordionist Ratliff has fashioned a little quintet that sustains its tenderness and agility while still blowing like Vesuvius. Factor in the gypsy strain that arrives via the Far East and you've got singularity, too."
       Jim Macnie, Village Voice

"...colorful, stylistically eclectic and humor-filled... this is tightly arranged stuff... give the group credit for playing the charts with a verve and spontaneous feel that enlivens them even further."
       Harvey Pekar, Jazz Times

"Ratliff and his New York City-based band Rhapsodalia go straight to one's heart and imagination while injecting strong doses of whimsy and artful musicianship... [he] is a fine musician who possesses a clever and crafty compositional pen... Strongly recommended."
       Glenn Astarita, Allaboutjazz.com Publisher's Pick

"Big, bright, and expansive... those looking for creative, theatrical, world-stretching jazz need look no further than Wong Fei-Hong Meets Little Strudel."
       Andrew Bartlett, Amazon.com "Emerging Artists" Jazz Pick

"...those that have albums of Raymond Scott and soundtrack music from pre-1965 cartoons and Marx Brothers movies will find Wong Fei-Hong Meets Little Strudel a wonderful addition to their Life's Soundtrack.... [Ratliff] is all over the map, the same map that Carla Bley, Phillip Johnston, John Lurie, Steven Bernstein and the Kamikaze Ground Crew use. Bits of tango, polka, old big band jazz, Latin rhythms, Charles Ives, turn-of-the-century salon music, rock & roll, R&B, Stravinsky are all used in a daffy yet genially coherent tapestry."
       Mark Keresman, JazzReview.com

"I am most impressed with this quirky CD.... Although this is only a quintet, they sound much larger... It would not sound out of place on Zorn's filmworks series...."
       Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter

"Wong Fei-Hong Meets Little Strudel is surprisingly sturdy and swinging, with just enough in the way of smarts to balance out the deadpan humor."
       Jeff Morris, 52nd Street Review

"Think Fiddler on the Roof meets The Good,the Bad and the Ugly and you may get a tiny grasp of what this music is all about."
       Benji Knudsen, The Vermont Review

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A note about Wong Fei-Hong
from Edward Ratliff:

Wong Fei-Hong, a heroic figure from Canton, was a noted doctor and Hung Gar kung fu master; his legend lives on in countless films and television programs. "The Wong Fei-Hong Theme" (a.k.a. "The Generals's Edict") is dedicated to my favorite Wong Fei-Hong (Jet Li) and the Hong Kong movie industry. "When the Master's Away" is dedicated to the exceptional martial arts actor Hung Yan-Yan. The work of Hung Yan-Yan, Jet Li and the HK film industry is a great inspiration to me.

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Credits:
Produced by Edward Ratliff. Recorded January 1999 at Good and Evil in the People's Republic of Brooklyn. Engineered and mixed by Chris Kelly and Danny Blume. Mastered by Joe Lambert at Foothill Digital.

All selections composed and arranged by Edward Ratliff except "The Wong Fei-Hong Theme," which is a traditional Chinese song arranged by Edward Ratliff. All other selections © Edward Ratliff and published by strudelmedia (BMI), except "Who Rota This Tune?" which is strudelmedia (BMI)/Knit Fac Inc. (BMI).


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From the set of
"Once Upon a Time in China & America"

photos courtesy Alex Shum

Hung Yan-Yan with Lion
Hung Yan-Yan with lion

Jet Li as Wong Fei-Hong with Sammo Hung
Jet Li as Wong Fei-Hong, with director Sammo Hung

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