Jazz Views with CJ Shearn: Connie Han Trio at Jazz Standard, NYC, 7/23/19 Review

"23 year old pianist Connie Han made a splash last year with her major label debut, Crime Zone on Detroit based Mack Avenue Records. The label filled a void left by Warner Brothers Jazz in the mid to late 90’s and early 00’s for very exciting acoustic jazz. On July 23, 2019 at New York City’s Jazz Standard, the Connie Han Trio featuring Ivan Taylor on bass, and long time musical director and producer, Bill Wysaske on the drums, held court for a couple hours exhilarating jazz. Han’s entry point, and general area of musical interest the young lions movement of the 1980’s and 1990’s has helped to reassess the music of that era and create something fresh within. Ethan Iverson’s illuminating interview with Wynton Marsalis and his blog post, The J Word also brought much needed attention to this period in jazz, which by detractors is dismissed as “neo bop” (a silly term) but there’s much more to the music than that, Han’ s continuing maturity and growth as an improviser and writer was on full display, and she is completely authentic in the idiom, with a complete understanding of the history and social reasons behind it.

Over the course of two sets, the pianist proved her continuing growth of her craft by playing a mix of forthcoming music for an album being recorded in August, with her new compositions, a classic Mulgrew Miller tune, and tunes composed by Stephen Sondheim and Bill Wysaske. The trio unit is so locked into each other they operate as one voice, particularly with Wysaske responding to Han’s every move. Taylor grooved, expanded and contracted as the moment called for. Han’s tough originals of both night’s sets were impressive: her brand new “Iron Starlet” churned with a shuttling melody bolstered by a smoldering left hand in unison with Taylor’s bass, Han spun several choruses of deeply swinging lines that only grew in intensity as Wysaske’s comping locked in like a homing laser. She swung with elegance and fire on Mulgrew Miller’s “The Sequel” effortlessly mixing behind the beat asides, classic jazz slang, funky grace notes, and double time with an unshakeable confidence. Han knows the tradition, backwards and forwards, but says so many fresh things within that paradigm. Although her hard swinging gets the most attention, she is a superb interpreter of more lyrical material."

View the complete review here.

The New York Times: 12 Pop, Rock and Jazz Concerts to Check Out in N.Y.C. This Weekend

CONNIE HAN TRIO at Jazz Standard (July 23, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.). Han is a 23-year-old pianist and conservatory dropout with an impressive stockpile of jazz history at her disposal. On “Crime Zone,” released last year, she reaches back into the glory years of post-bop, when Wayne Shorter was subtly expanding the modal style developed by Miles Davis and John Coltrane, and the pianist Cedar Walton was putting fresh twists into its rhythmic alignments. She will bring her book of hard-swinging, rhythmically astute original tunes to the Standard with the bassist Ivan Taylor and the drummer Bill Wysaske.
212-576-2232, jazzstandard.com

View the article here.

Steinway & Sons signs Connie Han to celebrated artist roster

23-year-old pianist Connie Han joins the Steinway & Sons artist roster alongside renowned jazz pianists McCoy Tyner, Art Tatum, Kenny Barron, Ahmad Jamal, Brad Mehldau, Renee Rosnes, and Fred Hersch.

“Only a Steinway piano possesses the raw power to satiate the hungry young lioness inhabiting my creative soul.” — Connie Han

View Connie’s artist page on Steinway’s website here.

Italian Culture and News Site MentiSommerse.it: Exclusive Interview with Connie Han, the Rising Star of Jazz

“Connie Han is one of the rising stars of the new American Jazz scene.

Born in Los Angeles in a family of musicians and raised in the myth of Chick Korea, Kenny Kirkland and Herbie Hancock, approaches the Jazz at Los Angeles County High School.

Is a jazz musician "with frightening technical skills, a wealth of history and a lot of originality to write melodies that capture easily hearing", writes about her to the New York Times, while Jazziz has included in this article between the artists to keep an eye on in 2019.

"With this album (Crime zone, ED), Connie Han has booked a place among the stars of tomorrow's jazz," are the words that has dedicated All About Jazz.

To present his latest work and to learn more about its main artistic influences, we MentiSommerse.it we interviewed Connie Han.” (Translated from Italian to English. View the complete interview in English here. View the complete interview in Italian here.

ArtsBeatLA: Interview with Connie Han on jazz debut CRIME ZONE

“Connie Han strides onto the stage at Vibrato Grill in sky-high stiletto boots and skin-tight black leather. She props her cell phone at the deep end of her Yamaha piano keyboard and presses ‘record.’ Pretty soon the dynamic and expressive hands of this petite, slim woman are racing and gliding with alacrity. Burning up the keyboard, she snarls and grimaces as she creates extraordinary rhythms and melodies. The only thing restrained about this jazz artist are the two bobby pins in her extra long, dark hair.

At 22, Han is such a ferocious performer and composer that she’s already been referred to as a ‘young lioness.’ The moniker suits her perfectly.

Han’s professional career began when she was 17 with her independently produced 2015 album, The Richard Rodgers Songbook.

Now she’s launched her original compositions with her debut album, CRIME ZONE,which has just been released by Mack Avenue Records. With it, Han has created an edgy blend of modern and traditional jazz.”

View the complete interview with Connie here.

Jazziz Magazine - The Shape of Jazz To Come: Artists to Watch In 2019

“Jazz thrives on regeneration and invention, which means that each new year brings a new opportunity for artists to extend the tradition, challenge norms, make new connections and push the music into unforeseen territory.

Here are 19 artists we think will take jazz to new heights in 2019. Some have been on the scene for a while; others you should get to know. Young and visionary, they’re all linked by a desire to move the music forward, tugging the tradition along with them. Want to get a sense for where jazz is headed? Follow these players.”

“With the release of her debut album, Crime Zone, L.A. native Connie Han announced herself as a pianist keen on tradition yet unafraid to redefine it. The album pays tribute to her primary jazz influences — the pianists McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Kenny Kirkland — by way of spirit and energy, not mere reproduction. Her originals were firmly stamped with her own artistic vision, and it’s a vision that she will certainly continue to expand through 2019 and beyond.”

View the article here.

Jazziz Magazine: Crime Zone Review

“Los Angeles-based pianist Connie Han exhibits a refreshing inventiveness that belies her youth.” - Jazziz Magazine

“Han has been labeled a rising star and rightfully so — she’s an intriguing artist with mastery over her instrument as well as a deft bandleader. Given the maturity and brilliance she demonstrates on “CRIME ZONE", perhaps “rising” could be dropped from that designation.” - Jazziz Magazine

Read the full review here.