MUSIC

A fascinating music feast blended with Jazz, Classical & World Music
Skyline's second live album
  • Won "Live Performance Album" by Independent Music Awards (IMAs) and nominated as "Best Crossover Album" by Golden Melody Award (GMA) for Traditional Arts and Music
  • Containing music elements including traditional Chinese, Japanese, Indian, African, European (Middle Age), Flamingo, Tango, Latin, Chill-out, Avant-garde Rock 
  • Partnered with Taipei Symphony Orchestra (TSO POPS) and classical-crossover music master Joe Che-Yi Lee for a groundbreaking tour blending Jazz with symphony orchestra and world music.
  • Live footage in Taipei National Concert Hall and Taichung National Theater

In the fall of 2018, to celebrate its 15th anniversary, Skyline gave “Symphojazz,” a cross-over concert blending Classical with Jazz, marking an unprecedented feat for our band and the field of Jazz Fusion in Taiwan. 

In fact, following our Asia tour in 2016, we decided to go back to square one and think over once again our intent of making Jazz Fusion music while tapping into a wide range of other music genres. After much soul searching, we made it our long-term goal to keep pushing our creative frontiers and going deeper in Jazz, while trying to blend as many music elements around the world as possible into our pieces. Aiming to take music lovers onto a global tour, we set out from Taiwan, and we take the essences of different music genres across the five continents, blend them and create new, diverse songs. These music genres include Taiwanese Nanguan and Beiguan music featuring gongs and drums, vehement and vibrant African music, passionate, free-spirited Flamenco dance music from Southern Europe, wild Latin rhythms in South America, mysterious and distant Indian/Middle Eastern tunes, deep and mellow Asian/oriental melodies, elegant and self-composed Tango music, Central European ballads passed down through generations, avant-garde rock ’n roll demanding complicated performing skills.  

To fully present the concept behind Symphojazz- When Jazz meets Symphony, we decided to join hands with the TSO POPS under Taipei Symphony Orchestra and Taiwan’s legendary classical crossover composer Joe Che-Yi Lee to create this mega project that blends original Jazz music from Taiwan with world music and classical symphony music. Drawing upon our third album "City Explorations" and hits from our previous two albums, this concert series featured diverse music styles and unprecedented music arrangements. Spanning both traditional and modern, we put together an exquisite music voyage across the five continents and a refreshing acoustic feast. Accentuated with a smooth soundscape (ie. classical symphony music), this performance promises a wide range of incessant surprises to music lovers. 

This is a rare full-concept experimental performances made by Taiwanese Jazz artists. It also marks a new milestone of Jazz scene in Taiwan. The live DVD recording of the concert catches all the memorable and touching moments of this round-the-island Symphojazz tour. 

TRACKS

1. Greet the Dawn

Formerly a J-Fusion song led by EWI, this piece was transformed into a pure symphony version through rearrangement. The new method of interpretation brings out a deeper level of emotions and refreshing feel from this piece’s originally flamboyant melody and rich harmony. 

2. Walk on Prairie    

Opening with Marimba and Djembe, this piece seeks to recreate the songs chanted at tribal meetings in Africa with repetitive songs phrases. In addition to the Afro-Cuban rhythmic shouts, brass ensemble, improvised variation, this piece captures hunters’ excitement when chasing a prey.
(Guest Musician: Alex Wu/ Erhu, Percussion)

3. Mountain Cloud   

This piece is like a conversation between Taiwanese folk opera music (“nanguan" and “beiguan") and western Funk. By playing a Hakka folk piece on Erhu and Bang Di and a blues scale on the piano and Dulcimer (Yangqin), Guzheng and Pipa, this track accentuates the emotions deep in the hearts of city-dwellers as they embrace simplicity and nature.
(Guest Musician: Alex Wu/ Erhu, Percussion)

4. Arcade of Zen  

This piece fuses western and eastern cultures by integrating Japanese music instruments Shamisen, Shakuhachi and Koto with the rhythm of western Funk to accentuate the curious sight of the coexistence of classic and modern & old and new and the relationship of movement, calmness, Zen, philosophy reflected by ancient architecture in modern cities.

5. Capítulo del Amor 

Accompanied by grand piano, double bass and accordion, which is central to tango dance songs, and vibrant Violin and clarinet, this piece is both passionate/wild and sentimental/ elegant. It tells the story of two lonely souls meeting at a bar before embarking on a sensual adventure.
(Guest Musician: Chieh Huang/ Accordion)

6. Danza del Sol   

Featuring classical guitar techniques, Flamenco sweepicking and guitar tapping, as well as tapping a Cajon, Palmas (hand clapping) and acoustic bass, this track captures the common sight of passionate men and women dancing to music in a sunny southern European country near the Mediterranean Sea.
(Guest Musician: Roberto Zayas/ Nylon Guitar, Alex Wu/ Percussion)

7. River of Eternity 

Featuring the accompaniment of northern Indian traditional music instrument Sitar, Bansuri and Tabla, the song features the rhythm of Raga played against a continuous drone in the background. With the Indian music scale playing, this piece depicts the relationship between ancient mysterious River Ganges and the life cycles of Indian people over thousands of years.
(Guest Musician: Uz AZeR/ Sitar, Alex Wu/ Percussion)

8. Underneath the Sky

Coming in a style of New Age music, this piece’s alternating 6/8 and 4/4 time signatures ingeniously create a smooth and flowy melody. Following rearrangement with symphony orchestra, the previously refreshing tone now has a vivid pastoral flair added to it.  

9. Sudden Romance

This piece of Smooth Jazz, which is a type of Jazz popular along the west coast of the US, features a soft, gentle melody. Played by Jazz guitar, Soprano Saxophone and symphony orchestra, the tunes tell a romantic story about a sudden chance encounter. 

10. Lazy Afternoon

This Bossa Nova piece features nylon guitar and fretless bass as lead instruments to illustrate the laidback, fascinating charm characterizing the French countryside. Accompanied by orchestra, this piece recreates the sentiment of its original version vividly. 
(Guest Musician: Roberto Zayas/ Nylon Guitar, Alex Wu/ Percussion)

8. Secret Trail  

Featuring exotic latin rhythm of Tumbao, music on fretless bass, the harmony of nylon guitar and flute as well as a variety of latin percussions representing layers of music depth, this piece creates a curious/ interesting music medley that depicts a travel’s wonder exploring the unknown in a South American jungle.
(Guest Musician: Roberto Zayas/ Nylon Guitar, Alex Wu/ Percussion)

12. Breeze Kiss

Set to Adagio, this Bossa Nova piece is like an evening breeze blowing softly over you for you to chill out. With unassuming acoustic instruments, this song perfectly accentuates the soft and elegant timber of the flute and brings out the primitive sensation in us.
(Guest Musician: Roberto Zayas/ Nylon Guitar, Alex Wu/ Percussion)

13. Crusade of Millennium  

This piece depicts a traveler musing over the former glory of central Europeans’ crusades and conquers before a Middle Ages castle. It not only features European Middle Ages instruments, central European ballads but burgle sounding by a brass instrument before a crusade on a misty morning, fast guitar drumming and the rhythm of Syncopation to recreate the tension between two armies before combat. The melodious string music, however, accentuates the solemn atmosphere.  

14. Dream Storm 

Divided into three chapters, this piece is a brand-new combination of heavy metal and jazz rock that wonderfully integrates the skills of classical counterpoint and modern jazz harmony. The fast-moving symphony notes and pop rock’s powerful rhythms create complicated music phrase patterns that sound like tumultuous storms that only happen in a dream and an overpowering/majestic music feast!

15. Memories of a Snowy Night

Influenced by soundtracks of Japanese TV dramas, this ballad originated from a story hidden in the composer's heart. He wrote this song to preserve the memory of that snowy night even though he can’t tell the story in words.

16. Costa del Verano

Summer + Coast = happy freedom! Everyone living in the city has the notion to escape from the concrete jungle from time to time. When summer comes, just get a ride on coast highway, chasing sunshine and leave everything behind!
(Guest Musician: Roberto Zayas/ Nylon Guitar, Alex Wu/ Percussion)

A Jazz voyage across Asia for international music exchanges
Skyline's first live album
  • Asia tour with 20 concerts in a total of 12 cities in Japan, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan 
  • Live footage in Tokyo Cotton Club, Nagoya Bottom Line and Legacy Taipei

 

Covering four countries/regions and 12 cities in the summer of 2016, this 10,000-km tour of 20 live shows marked Skyline’s first Asia tour since its establishment in 2003. All the pieces performed in the tour are composed by the band itself, including the tracks from the band’s first album "City Glide" and second album "City Colors", and offered a rich Jazz Fusion banquet of a lifetime.

From Tokyo to Osaka, from eastern to western Japan, Skyline played at top Jazz clubs in the country. They include Cotton Club in Tokyo, Bottom Line in Nagoya and Mr. Kelly’s in Osaka ...etc. All are frequented by world-class Jazz bands and artists. Equally outstanding is the top-notch Jazz clubs in China like JZ Club Shanghai and its counterparts in Guangzhou and Wuhan. Orange Peel and Fringe Club are best places to visit for live Jazz performances in Hong Kong. Top live houses in Taiwan such as Riverside, Legacy, Brown Sugar and Live Warehouse are also prominent venues for Jazz buffs. As Skyline garnered support from all the best live houses and Jazz clubs in Japan, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan during this tour, we made another breakthrough in promoting Taiwanese Jazz music and culture abroad. We aspire to follow the footsteps of Jazz giants and spread the charm of Taiwanese Jazz all over Asia. 

This Asia tour not only marks a pioneering step for Skyline but opens the door for Taiwanese Jazz bands to play at top-notch live houses in Asia. This album and DVD also mark the first time a Jazz band from Taiwan made a live recording of its debut tour in Asia. Looking forward, Skyline will continue to engage in exchanges with other indigenous Jazz bands from the island and international Jazz artists to propel Taiwan’s original jazz music onto the international stage. We also hope to give Jazz aficionados worldwide an opportunity to discover and fall in love with the beautiful tunes from Taiwan, the place we call home.

TRACKS

1. Greet the Dawn

This song depicts an enthusiastic, go-getter attitude toward life. The dynamic and unimpeded tempo clearly captures our band members’ passion to cherish every minute and live their lives to the fullest.

2. Keep Goin’

The elegant pop’s moderato tempo resembles the heartbeat and breathing. With its catchy tune, this is an extremely memorable piece.

3. Beyond the Rainbow

Characterized by a folk rock style, this piece features a light, bright tempo. Coupled with the melodious tone of the Saxophone, this piece depicts a childlike heart that seeks after the colorful beauty of life.

4. Breeze Kiss

Set to Adagio, this Bossa Nova piece is like an evening breeze blowing softly over you for you to chill out. With unassuming acoustic instruments, this creation perfectly accentuates the soft and elegant timber of the saxophone and brings out the primitive sensation in us.

5. Ocean Promenade

Set to the relaxing, upbeat tempo of Samba, this piece features fingerstyle nylon guitar common in Latin music. Played to the sixth and 3rd intervals, it boasts a cheerful, refreshing feel enjoyed by one strolling at the beach.

6. Timeship

Set to a very classic groove of Funk Fusion, this piece features carefully-arranged harmony and tempo twists. The Saxophonist vividly depicts the relentless moving of time with his performance which alternates between romantic and free-spirited sentiments. 

7. Sparkling Rain

The synthesized tone which sounds so crisp and fresh like crystal raindrops invites all to rock! The guitarist’s painstaking music arrangement and excellent solo, which alternates between wildness and quietness, bring an incredibly rich jazzy rain shower. 

8. Drum Solo

 

9. Indigo Mood

Based on a Minor Blues, this song expresses deep personal emotions about inevitable up-and-down moments in city life.

10. Sudden Romance

Using the common tempo and harmony of Smooth Jazz, this soft melody easily engages listeners into the story of the song. 

11. Leaving

This melodic piece carrying a tad of sadness opens with a beautiful piano solo, which bears a sharp contrast to the passionate roar of the Saxophone at the end.

12. Lakeside

This tune features the most stress-free instrumental arrangement in Jazz to create a relaxing tempo resembling one’s leisurely stroll by the lake as he soaks in the scenery before him. As the soft, delicate music of Soprano Saxophone meets a steady, low fretless bassline, it is like an elegant and ravishing exchange between the mountains and rivers.

13. Costa del Verano

Summer + Coast = happy freedom! Everyone living in the city has the notion to escape from the concrete jungle from time to time. When summer comes, just get a ride on coast highway, chasing sunshine and leave everything behind!

14. Underneath the Sky

This is a song about dreams. A young man came to the big city, determined to succeed in the new world. It delicately interprets a young heart ready to take off.

15. Lush Layers

The Keyboardist always wanted to write a song which makes people dazzling with layers of sound, just like driving a car in the city with lines of light, seemingly chaotic but gorgeous by the rhythm session.

16. Happy Weekend

A tune with 70’s/ 80’s feel, depicting the mood greeting coming weekend. The carefree mood associated with the feeling being accompanied by the one you love, is exactly what this tune all about.

17. Stay

Boasting combined elements of East and West cultures, the song joins the pentatonic scale of the East and funk rhythm of the West to interpret the relationships among activeness, stillness, Zen and philosophy.