Helen Sung | Push

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Helen Sung at amazon.com Helen Sung at Fresh Sound Records Helen Sung at MySpace Helen Sung

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United States - NY - New York City

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Progressive Jazz Moods: Instrumental
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by Helen Sung

From the funky gospel blues&bebop of "One Step Forward," the unique colors&rhythms of the title track "PUSH," the hard bop of "Conundrum," to the electric world of "The Fourth Maria" -- Helen Sung's PUSH signals the emergence of a highly original artist.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Conundrum
4:46 album only
2. One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
5:37 album only
3. On A Clear Day
4:50 album only
4. Push
7:00 album only
5. Beauty For Ashes
5:46 album only
6. The Fourth Maria
6:47 album only
7. Bittersweet
5:31 album only
8. Speak Low
5:01 album only
9. The Waiting Game
5:20 album only
10. Ugly Beauty
4:50 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
PLEASE NOTE: for ordering copies of the physical CD, visit amazon (USA) or Fresh Sound Records (international).

Jazz pianist Helen Sung and her album PUSH are turning heads and generating buzz! Listen to what Jim MacNie writes in the Village Voice: "On the impressive PUSH she's got a syncopated trio track that messes with the blues while flashing off in all sorts of directions. The pianist is making a name for herself by offering broad vistas while still accentuating particulars."

Experience a bold, creative voice in jazz music - PUSH includes imaginative arrangements of jazz standards (check out Helen's solo rendering of Thelonious Monk's Ugly Beauty), but the focus is on her originals. From the funky, gospel blues of 'One Step Forward, Two Steps Back,' the distinctive colors and rhythms of the title track 'Push,' the hard bop of 'The Waiting Game,' to the electric, Wayne Shorter-influenced world of 'The Fourth Maria' - a highly original artist is in the making! Indeed, in the words of acclaimed pianist Kenny Barron in the liner notes:

"I first heard Helen Sung when she was a student at the Monk Institute...I was impressed with her flawless technique, great imagination, great harmonic conception and real understanding of the language of jazz. Since that first hearing I've also come to know Ms Sung as a brilliant composer as you will also hear when you put this CD in the player.
I expect great things for Ms. Sung and great, challenging music from her."

PUSH also features drummer Brian Blade, Marcus Strickland on saxophone, Richie Goods on bass, and Jeffrey Haynes on percussion.

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The pianist is making a name for herself
On the impressive PUSH she's got a syncopated trio track that messes with the blues while flashing off in all sorts of directions. The pianist is making a name for herself by offering broad vistas while still accentuating particulars.

bls - ny, ny

always playing on my ipod
this cd is awesome! so good, i bought another one b/c i had to give my first copy away. it's always playing on my ipod.

Dan McClenaghan

"[Helen's] approach brims with life, solid compositions, and fine playing."
It's always a good sign when the opening cut has you snapping your fingers about fifteen seconds in.

Push is pianist Helen Sung's debut effort. The song that elicited the fingersnaps is “Conundrum,” a swinger that features some clean-lined tenor sax work by Marcus Strickland. It hits a groove early, and a couple of minutes in Sung sparkles into an effervescent solo. The pianist, who semi-finaled in the 1999 Thelonious Monk Jazz Piano Competition, exhibits some sharp angularities again when the sax blows back in.

“Vivacity” is the word that keeps coming to mind as I listen to Ms. Sung's music. Her approach brims with life, solid compositions and fine playing. “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back,” sans sax, with percussionist Jeffrey Haynes joining the pianist, drummer Brian Blade and bassist Richie Goods, bubbles and jumps. Helen Sung is, it's obvious, having a helluva good time as her imagination soars.

The disc's title tune features a marvelously imaginative Sung solo and some of Strickland's finest blowing on the set. Sung has a way of keeping the listener on her/his toes as the rhythm guys settle into a groove behind her while she takes the melody on some surprising twists and turns.

The set is a nicely arranged mix of trio/quartet, uptempo/ballad offerings, and Marcus Strickland switches from tenor to soprano to keep the sound interesting. The song “Bittersweet” sounds just like its title, with the soprano and piano playing the opposing emotions. “The Waiting Game” sounds Monk-ish, and the record closes on a perfect note with Thelonious's “Ugly Beauty,” a pensive little solo gem in the hands of Helen Sung.

Visit Helen Sung on the web at www.helensung.com

Yoriko Takahashi Jazz Singer Tokyo Japan

Received as a gift from a friend who heard Helen live in NYC
ON a clear day was cooking,Loved the entire CD. When visiting the U.S. would like to hear Helen in person, she is really a BAD lady.

James Boyce

PUSH is a fabulous body of work!
I thoroughly enjoyed the range that is evident on PUSH. Truly it is an excellent body of work.
James Boyce

Paul Kaufman

Absolutely Outstanding!!!
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As always, I am awed by Helen's talent.
The originality and the musicality of "Push" make it a fantastic album. As always, I am awed by Helen's talent. I can't wait to hear more!


Helen is an incredible player, one of the best here in NYC.
Helen is a great musical painter, this CD captures the essence of jazz and the title cut PUSH, to me, captures the essence of a day in the Apple.

Gary Carangelo

Nice work.
I became aware of Helen Sung music on WBGO's Piano Jazz show, and afterwards, I purchased "Helenistique." A while later, I downloaded "Live at the Blue Note Brunch." If you liked the WBGO show or either of the aforementioned offerings, you will want to pick up a copy of "Push." It is a very nice first CD, and I am looking forward to future music from Helen, whether jamming with other jazz musicians or solo. I'd like to catch her live one of these days, too !!


A Very Diggable Debut!
Helen Sung's debut recording PUSH is fresh and vibrant and reminds us that the future of Jazz is as exciting and inventive as the past. Put this one in your shopping cart now!