Jazz Me Dude

If Nhu Huy’s volume one, Cham Vao, featured only Nghi Van, I have nothing to say. With Nhu Huy’s lackluster lyricism, Hong Kien’s lifeless production, and Nghi Van’s energy-free delivery, getting through two tracks in a row is damn near impossible. Nghi Van has a gruff voice, but lacks the soulfulness. On the other hand, Tung Duong is the cat that has tremendous soul, but forced to be restrained to perform Nhu Huy’s compositions. As a result, he couldn’t express Nhu Huy’s lyrics as well as he could with Le Minh Son’s songs. Like Ha Tran, Tung Duong constantly pushes himself, and unlike Ha Tran, he has the chops for scat-singing. Although “Nam Mo” isn’t outstanding, the track stands out the most in the album. Tung Duong weaves his weirdly-syncopated vocals around the up-tempo beat and gives a trumpet-mimicked scat near the end. Even though the arrangement in “Xin Dung Hoi Toi” is suitable for hot-tub music, the interaction between Hong Kien’s sax and Tung Duong’s voice is refreshing. So far, Tung Duong is the only Vietnamese male singer that has the potential for jazz vocals; therefore, he should develop further into improvisational style, and work on his vocal chords unto an instrument itself. Give me some hope, and stop fooling around with the pop shit.