Jazz Silhouette - The Perfect Rendezvous of East and West
After earning accolades for their last album, the members of Skyline have continued to imagine the possibilities of jazz fusion. Three years of pondering those possibilities led almost naturally to the idea of going “back to the roots,” with the glory of jazz fusion of the past providing endless inspiration.
The pioneering musicians of the 70's were wildly imaginative, innovative, and bold thinkers. They ushered in the era of jazz fusion by grabbing different styles of music and blending them into jazz. Their boldness wrote a brilliant new chapter in the story of jazz’s development, and jazz music entered an age where a kaleidoscope of styles flourished. Jazz musicians in the 80's continued to push the boundaries of jazz fusion. They defined the sound of the 80's that we all know with a variety of electric instruments, the use of more mature musical elements and an infusion of pop music. They freely added all sorts of musical elements onto the foundation of jazz, without the constraints of style, structure, and genre. This caused jazz fusion to evolve to have an even wider range of feeling and effect.
Over Skyline’s 10 plus years of creating original music, the members have always drawn inspiration from the greats of jazz fusion. At times, there’s a feeling of spiritual connection that transcends time and space. That inspiration set off the band’s grand plan to bring out the free and diverse spirit that is jazz fusion and integrate into this all-new album. Skyline wants to use the Western format of jazz music to present our roots in Taiwan, so as to take Aboriginal Ancient Tunes, Hakka Eight-Tones (Ba-Yin) and Fulao Folk Songs, all parts of Taiwan’s traditional music, and wrap them into the jazz fusion style. We hope to bring a new vibrance and life to that traditional music. We believe this isn’t just about inheriting and presenting music. Rather, it’s a matter of giving a concrete expression to the inner workings of a culture in order to create something that is at once retro and modern.
To fully convey this album’s concept and techniques, Skyline invited the best of jazz fusion to join us for recording: members of the Corea Elektric Band (saxophonist Eric Marienthal and guitarist Frank Gambale) and quintessential master musicians from GRP (jazz drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and bassist Abraham Laboriel) along with other musicians. Our goal was to produce a high standard and exquisite jazz performance album that has international impact.
Urban traffic is a test of your humanity. Sometimes, traffic flows smoothly, at other times it’s nothing but gridlock. Driving is an emotional rollercoaster. It’s anxiety inducing!
The tempo of this song remains constant, but it offers the excitement of cars changing speed by using rhythmic displacement. Jazz drummer Vinnie Colaiuta’s outstanding drumming techniques bring this song to perfection.
You feel a rush of liberation when the work day is over. The night starts by gathering with different friends. You talk about anything and everything over drinks before running off to the next bar~
Pop music’s rhythm gives the night a sleek feeling. For this song, the bass is the main character of the story, featuring one solo after another by bassist Abraham Laboriel. Each scene changes with the rhythm of the music for a fun-filled night!
Gyms have become all the rage in cities. If you want to be fit and professional, then you’ve got to pay attention to the order of your exercises~
The structure of this song captures the workout process: warming up, getting on the treadmill, hitting the weights, doing aerobic exercises, and wrapping up with a cool down routine. The retro rhythm of jazz rock from the 80s symbolizes the heart’s constant beating. Guitarist Frank Gambale’s astounding guitar solo will get your blood pumping!
You leave the city behind to enjoy a holiday outdoors. The beauty of mountains and forests is so close you can touch it, and the scents of nature lift your spirits and ease your pent-up emotions and stress.
This song employs short and crisp Latin rhythms as the tune twists and turns like the change of light and shadow on the mountains. Master saxophonist Eric Marienthal’s beautiful melody on the soprano sax is like a pleasant breeze filled with joy that will bring you comfort.
(Guest musician: Percussion/ Alex Wu)
A lively and energetic piano rhythm starts the prelude for the day. A gentle duet featuring a nylon-string guitar and saxophone tell the story of people helping each other in the city as they all march for their dreams.
(Arrangement for horn session: Jazzy Su/ Jimmy Lee, Guest Musicians: Trumpet/ Danny Deysher, Trombone/ Michael Wang, Tenor Saxophone/J immy Lu, Percussion: Alex Wu)
Wander the city streets as your heart desires and enjoy the contours of the city at your own pace. This pop jazz tune has a catchy guitar riff that contrasts with the gentle sound of the aerophone. This song features a cheerful and smooth guitar style inspired by George Benson that will make you want to dance to the music with its free and light feeling.
(Arrangement for horn session: Jimmy Lee, Arranged by: Sylvie Chen/ Jazzy Su, Guest Musician: Trumpet/ Danny Deysher, Trombone/ Michael Wang, Tenor Saxophone EWI/ Jimmy Lu, Percussion/ Alex Wu)
Street corners are a dramatic event. People appear and disappear when turning the corner. Maybe it’s a turn toward happiness, but it could also be a sorrowful turn. Even if we’ve parted ways, our memories together will never fade. Let’s look forward to the day we can bump into each other on the street once again!
This song is the album’s only gentle and emotional slow song. The meticulously composed synth bass line is weaved through out the song and responds like a lover’s whisper to the melody of the electric guitar. It’s the perfect song for a night that is quiet and still.
(Guest Musician: Percussion/ Alex Wu)
Besides being a time for families to gather together, Christmas is a heart-warming season for couples. This song tells the story of a woman who has gently turned down her partner’s surprise on Christmas day and suggests that they part ways. In the part, they had faced unfairness and difficulties. The man wants to make things right but decides ultimately to forgive himself. He continues to move on.
(Arrangement for horn session: Peter Yu, Jimmy Lee, Guest musicians: Trumpet/ Xian Huang, Danny Deysher, Trombone/ Michael Wang, Tenor Saxophone/ Jimmy Lu)
You fiddle with your windblown hair and grip the steering wheel. You don’t plan to find a place to stop. You drive to wherever your heart takes you. Who cares about the speedometer? With nothing but beautiful scenery, this is the life!
(Arrangement for horn session: Jimmy Lee, Guest musicians: Trumpet/ Danny Deysher, Trombone/ Michael Wang, Tenor Saxophone/ Jimmy Lu)
This song is an adaptation of ancient songs from the Paiwan tribe: “Quina Naluwan” (Thoughts So Lonely),“Sine Venga” (A Dance Full of Memories) as well the song "Wish" created by Paiwan artist Seredew Tariyajan (San Mei Juan). The pentatonic scale used by indigenous and world music share a long history that many musicians search for and recreate. Taiwan is rich in its indigenous music and is a point of pride! This ancient song has been redone in a jazz style to create a new tune with Latin rhythm and percussion. The song is done in 15/8 that gets turned into 4/4 and features indigenous vocals as well as a traditional mouth harp.
(Arrangement: Martin "Musa" Musaubach, Composition: Seredew Tariyajan, Guest Musician: Percussion/ Alex Wu, Vocal/ Seredew Tariyajan, Mouth Harp & Vocal/ Laka Umaw, Transcription and Sampling/ Sylvie Chen)
Adapted from the Hakka Ba-Yin song known as “Song of Fengyang,” this song is brimming with jubilation. Electronic music is used to relate the joy of the past and transfers this joyous melody from long ago to our modern lives. Celebratory music never fades. Each generation shines in its own way!
(Guest Musician: Suona/ Jimmy Lu, Transcription and Sampling/ Sylvie Chen)
This song is derived from the classic Hengchun folk songs “Recalling” and “Hengchun Melody.” The song blends chillout with a gospel arrangement and Dilla groove. It features two key instruments that represent Fulao folk songs: the six-stringed yueqin and two-stringed kezixian. The song conveys the heat and laid-back feeling of southern Taiwan in an unadorned fashion.
(Arrangement: Martin "Musa" Musaubach, Guest Musicians: Percussion/ Alex Wu, Kezixian/ Shih Wei Hsiao, Six-string Yueqin, Transcription and Sampling/ Sylvie Chen)
Skyline’s first two albums have received critical acclaim from home and abroad. After its tour performances around Asia in 2016, Skyline decided to go back to square one and think over its original motive of creating fusion jazz music. After some soul-searching, the band has made it a long-term goal of pushing through their creative frontiers and constantly sharpening their prowess in Jazz, in addition to tapping into even more diverse music genres. Meanwhile, the band also seeks to include as many music elements around the world as possible into its productions.
“City Explorations” is an experimental concept album that takes listeners on a music adventure around the world. Setting out on the mission of cultural exchanges, this album begins from Taiwanese music and embraces the essences of the music styles from the five continents including folk opera music (Beiguan & Nanguan) in Taiwan, exciting/vibrant African tunes, passionate Flamingo dance music from southern Europe, unchained Latin rhythms from South America, mysterious and distant Indian/Middle Eastern melodies, simple yet deep Asian/oriental elements, elegant/unassuming Tango and central European folk tunes passed down through generations, avant-garde rock requiring complicated skills as well as electronic music that has emerged as a fad in Europe, making this album an extravagant journey of music exploration. Accompanied by classic symphony, this album promises to ignite sparks. This is a full-concept album theme rarely seen among local jazz bands in Taiwan and represents an innovative music approach and set a milestone in Taiwan’s fusion jazz circle.
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: Erhu/ Shi-Wei Hsiao, Bang Di/ Shu-Jing Huang, Ddlcimer/ Tsai-Yen Lai, Guzheng/ Wan-Lin Chen, Pipa/ Sylvie Chen, Percussion/ Alex Wu, Violin/ Keng-Feng Lu, Yuyu Chu, Szu-Yu Lin, Yi-Wen Shen, Viola/ Melissa Huang, Tsung Yang Ou, Cello/ Ou-Yang Whey-Ru, Yu-Ling Wang, String Arrangement/ Joe Che-Yi Lee
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.
Guest Musician: Shamisen/ Ray Chung, Guzheng/ Wan-Lin Chen, Percussion/ Alex Wu
Featuring the accompaniment of northern Indian traditional music instrument Sitar, Esraj, 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: Esraj & Tabla/ Wakaike Toshihiro, Vocal/ Sharayu Kirkole - Bhagwat, Sitar/ Uz AZeR, Violin/ Keng-Feng Lu, Yuyu Chu, Szu-Yu Lin, Yi-Wen Shen, Viola/ Melissa Huang, Tsung Yang Ou, Cello/ Ou-Yang Whey-Ru, Yu-Ling Wang, String Arrangement/ Sylvie Chen, Joe Che-Yi Lee
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.
Guest Musician: Flugelhorn/ Danny Deysher, Trombone & Tuba/ Shi-Wei Deng, Violin/ Keng-Feng Lu, Yuyu Chu, Szu-Yu Lin, Yi-Wen Shen, Viola/ Melissa Huang, Tsung Yang Ou, Cello/ Ou-Yang Whey-Ru, Yu-Ling Wang, String Arrangement/ Jazzy Su, Joe Che-Yi Lee
Opening with African 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: Trumpet/ Chia-Hsing Ku, Trombone/ Amy He, Percussion/ Alex Wu, Vocal/ Laka Umaw
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: Nylon Guitar/ Roberto Zayas, Percussion/ Alex Wu, Violin/ Keng-Feng Lu, Yuyu Chu, Szu-Yu Lin, Yi-Wen Shen, Viola/ Melissa Huang, Tsung Yang Ou, Cello/ Ou-Yang Whey-Ru, Yu-Ling Wang, String Arrangement/ Sylvie Chen, Joe Che-Yi Lee
Free yourself from the bondage of city life and hit the sunny beach Ibiza known for electronic music and passion in Spain! Accompanied by unbound, dynamic rhythm of electronic drums and laidback notes played improvised on the piano, this piece’s colorful variety created through effect pedals ushers you into the musical world of trance and illusion.
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: Nylon Guitar/ Roberto Zayas, Percussion/ Alex Wu
Accompanied by classical grand piano and traditional low bass and features Badoneon, 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: Accordion/ Achino Chang, Violin/ Keng-Feng Lu, Yuyu Chu, Szu-Yu Lin, Yi-Wen Shen, Viola/ Melissa Huang, Tsung Yang Ou, Cello/ Ou-Yang Whey-Ru, Yu-Ling Wang, String Arrangement/ Jazzy Su, Joe Che-Yi Lee
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!
Guest Musician: Violin/ Keng-Feng Lu, Yuyu Chu, Szu-Yu Lin, Yi-Wen Shen, Viola/ Melissa Huang, Tsung Yang Ou, Cello/ Ou-Yang Whey-Ru, Yu-Ling Wang, String Arrangement/ Jazzy Su, Joe Che-Yi Lee
Since it launched its first studio album “City Glide”in 2014 , Skyline has received wide acclaim from home and abroad for its diverse music elements and mature urban Jazz style. In addition to being nominated for the Best New Artist at the 5th Golden Indie Music Awards in 2014, the band was among the world’s top 12 bands at the 3rd Cotai Jazz and Blues Festival in Macau in the same year and then invited to perform live at the 2015 Java Jazz Festival, the world’s biggest Jazz music festival. Following its debut success, Skyline launched its second album “City Colors” in 2016. Extending the concept of “silouette of the city”, Skyline seeks to inject greater musical richness and cultural depth into the production to create some truly unique Fusion Jazz tunes.
“City Colors” focuses on the special moments of city life, capturing the bits and pieces of the touching scenes in our lives and concretize them through music so that they may be interpreted even powerfully and become vivid images in listeners’ minds.
This song depicts an enthusiastic, go-getter attitude toward life. Taking the lead of this music creation, the uplifting and unique EWI sound is expected to cheer up any listener. The dynamic and unimpeded tempo clearly captures our band members’ passion to cherish every minute and live their lives to the fullest.
The elegant pop’s moderato tempo resembles the heartbeat and breathing. With its catchy tune, this is an extremely memorable piece.
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. This is a perfect music creation to send our blessings and yearnings to someone beloved who has embarked on a journey and we may never see again.
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. In a word, this creation exudes a pleasant flair and a free spirit. What a happy piece!
(Guest Musician: Roberto Zayas/ Nylon Guitar; Cheng Sun/ Drums)
Using the common tempo and harmony of Smooth Jazz, this soft melody easily engages listeners into the story of the song. Jazz guitar legend Paul Jackson Jr.’s emotional performance does justice to the essence of this piece.
(feat. Paul Jackson Jr. on Guitar)
(Guest Musician: Shawna Yang/ Soprano Saxophone)
Set to a very classic groove of Funk Fusion, this piece features carefully-arranged harmony and tempo twists. Jazz Saxophone master Gerald Albright vividly depicts the relentless moving of time with his performance which alternates between romantic and free-spirited sentiments. The scenes of the piece flow incessantly and end as Saxophone and piano players trade solos.
(feat. Gerald Albright on Saxophone)
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 by Jazz Bass Maestro Alain Caron, it is like an elegant and ravishing exchange between the mountains and rivers.
(feat. Alain Caron on Bass)
(Guest Musician: Emory Chu/ Drums)
Set to Adagio, this Bossa Nova piece is like an evening breeze blowing softly over you for you to chill out. With unassuming acouticl instruments, this creation perfectly accentuates the soft and elegant timber of the flute and brings out the primitive sensation in us.
(Guest Musician: Shawna Yang/ Flute)
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.
(Guest Musician: Emory Chu/ Drums)
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. Such a feast of rain certainly cleanses one’s mind and soul. As the rain stops and thick clouds dissipate, one realizes that the eyes of his heart are enlightened in an amazing manner.
Themed voices of the city, the debut album reflects the richness of our band members’ life experiences, creating a unique, soothing and deep urban feel.
Based on modern Jazz, Skyline’s music boasts a variety of elements for a fusion style showcasing the city's diverse lifestyles. Such richness of music will certainly evoke listeners’ emotions and tug at their heartstrings.
Just as the band name skyline suggests, our Jazz music is urban, telling countless stories as fascinating as sunrise and sunset. Day in and day out, the senses of men and women are stimulated by kiss of satin-like lips, crystal blue lakes and shining golden glass curtains in all angles. Such colors of life are hidden under the city’s skyline, waiting to be discovered.
Crafted by a world-class production team paying attention to exquisite details, this album is worth your listen.
The first hit in this album, depicting the city's noble men and women in glamorous and elegant gesture blurred with excitement and provocation. Created and inspired by the image of “red carpet”, this song invites you to join the toast.
Based on a Minor Blues, this song expresses deep personal emotions. Since there’ll be inevitable up-and-down moments in city life, always adhere to what you believe to turn negative to positive, is the best way to go out of the blue.
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.
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.
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.
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: Mont Wang/ Guitar, Cheng Sun/ Drums)
This is a Bossa nova style of song, which memorize the time in Provence with gentle melody, illustrating the French countryside with a lazy charm and amorous. Bassist - Richard uses Piccolo and Fretless Bass to interpret the song, creating a unique form of style.
This is a highly stylish song featured in the album. Keyboardist - Jazzy 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.
(Guest Musician: Frank Cheung/ Guitar)
In the night of the city, the most unrestrained emotion always evoke after midnight. Take off the mask, liberate the soul with alcohol, nothing more to say but keep the memorable note. Saxphonist peaks it well!
The title song of the album, in which EWI adds quite contemporary feel to the song. Imagine we look at the city from thousands of feet off the ground, flying in the city's streets. How comfortable and at ease will it be! Guitarist - Sean wrote this song and put a great title for this album.