Peter Liu, Bamboo Groove

by Jeff Becker

Peter Liu though new on the vocal jazz scene, has a unique sensibility to swing.  Backed by veteran pianist Peter Hum, bassist Normand Glaude, drummer Tim Shia and a new name to me Scott Poll on clarinet, create a convincing canvas for Liu to colorize.

Liu weaves his way through a songbook of well-known standards with enticing arrangements that give a certain sparkle to each cut.  A very special cut on the album is “Shanghai Tan” fashioned in a jazz swing feel – but sung in Chinese and “Gan Lan Shu” a beautifully introspective and spacious ballad with dramatic sweeps and fills handled by the backing musicians with sincere technique.  Liu has an easy going effervescence to his vocal style; it’s honest and organic in nature, a very pleasing listen throughout. 

Of the 13 tracks adorning Bamboo Groove, it was “I Fall in Love Too Easily” that resonated for me, an almost Cincotti swagger emerges from this track.  Liu is onto something quite special with his international flair.  I truly enjoyed each track – the Chinese infused cuts and the overall nostalgia of his sound.