When Helen found Isaac Albéniz's "España, Op.165", a suite of 6 pieces for solo piano, it was what she was looking for: beautifully written pieces that were distinctive, simple yet profound, concise and with room for adaptation! The resulting jazz pieces range from simple orchestrations to complete transformation. Although she opted not to adapt the "Serenata," happily her own piece “Sungbird” turned out to be an appropriate “trade.”
"Having come to jazz relatively late (during college when I thought I wanted to be a classical pianist), I've spent most of the years since trying to swing and soak in the blues. At the same time, there is the desire to improvise and write with increasing clarity and variety of texture seen in the classical music I played. Perhaps this CD project is an attempt to begin integrating the different parts of my musical experience. "
Reviews"Get your credit cards out for buying this one, it's a real winner. Very rarely has the combination of jazz and classical genres worked out. Pianist Helen Sung has done it right, intertwining solo piano works in the Romantic vein with mixtures of band pieces that imbibe influences from Coltrane to Jamal. Six compositions are from the 19th century composer Isaac Albeniz, yet Sung brings them up to date in a stirringly remarkable fashion. Compositions like 'Prelude', 'Tango', and 'Capticho Catalan' are exquisite, intimate, and fluorescent pieces that conjure up images of Basque country side. the rhythm section of Samuel Torres (percussion), Nasheet Waits (drums) and Rueben Robers (bass) is sympathetic with out being overly deferential. I personally guarantee you will be fascinated by this disc on the 20th listening as on the first. Find it now!" - George W. Harris, All About Jazz