Secrets of Inanna Connie Han
- 1Prima Materia05:12
- 2Ereshkigal of the Underworld03:01
- 3Gilgamesh and the Celestial Bull02:21
- 4Morning Star05:46
- 5Vesica Piscis05:40
- 6Young Moon05:50
- 7Ninshubur's Lament00:39
- 8Wind Rose Goddess07:02
- 9The Gallû Pursuit03:26
- 10Dumuzi of Uruk05:13
- 11Desert Air07:50
- 12Enki's Gift03:02
Info for Secrets of Inanna
Rising star pianist/composer Connie Han brings the ancient Sumerian culture to the present day by channeling Inanna — the ancient Sumerian goddess of love, beauty and war — on her third release for Mack Avenue Records. Featuring Katisse Buckingham (alto flute and piccolo), John Patitucci (bass), Rich Perry (tenor saxophonist) and drummer Bill Wysaske, Secrets of Inanna creates a new world open to interpretation, harkening back to the ethereal soundscapes of 1970s spiritual jazz with the modern composition Han has received praise for since her 2018 debut, Crime Zone, creating a truly unique soundscape of great depth.
Jazz pianist and Steinway artist Connie Han delivers a powerful vision embodying the evolution of her forebears, from iconic innovators like McCoy Tyner and Hank Jones through the Young Lions revolution of the Marsalis Brothers, Kenny Kirkland and Jeff “Tain” Watts, among others. On this trajectory, she continues her stratospheric ascent in the jazz world as a force to be reckoned with.
Reflecting on the recording Han shares, “The opening track of Secrets of Inanna is to be experienced as the primordial and tumultuous Chaos from which Inanna is initially forged. Defined as the original material of the universe, “Prima Materia” illustrates the crucial moment before she awakens and discovers her laden power, ambition, and destiny as the true Queen of Heaven and Earth.”
Han creates a complex blend of traditional and modern jazz with an ethereal texture on “Prima Materia.” The composition deftly combines alto flute and piccolo, with Han doubling on both Rhodes and piano, and hints at the wonder and mystery comprising the essential material of creation.
Secrets of Inanna is Han’s third album with Mack Avenue following 2020’s breakthrough Iron Starlet. The entire project is inspired by the Sumerian mythology of ancient Mesopotamia, specifically the goddess of love, sensuality, beauty, fertility and also war : Inanna. The Descent of Inanna chronicles the goddess’ journey into the underworld from her domain in heaven. Along the way she must confront her older sister Ereshkigal, the Dark Queen of the Underworld, and her own inner darkness; in the process Inanna is killed and reborn as the Morning Star, eventually to be echoed in later tales of Venus, Ishtar and Aphrodite.
Han shares her fascination of Inanna, “Beloved by her people as the Queen of Heaven and Earth, she represents a shining beacon of femininity, grace, and poise. This multifaceted goddess is self-assured in her unabashed pride, sexual conquests and audacity. Belligerent and feisty, Inanna stops at nothing to achieve her objectives as a passionate woman with an iron resolve and insatiable lust for power.”
A deity possessing such complex and powerful characteristics deserves an homage that is equally rich and vivid, and Han has more than done her justice with Secrets of Inanna. The music was conceived and written in partnership with the pianist’s longtime producer and drummer, Bill Wysaske, and features bass great John Patitucci and veteran tenor saxophonist Rich Perry, with contributions by Katisse Buckingham on alto flute and piccolo. Deploying just these brilliant musicians in varying configurations and imaginative arrangements, Han and Wysaske conjure a wide spectrum of moods and emotions for their epic journey.
Connie Han, piano (all tracks except 6, 7); Fender Rhodes (1, 6, 12)
Bill Wysaske, drums (all tracks except 5)
John Patitucci, bass (all tracks except 3, 5, 7)
Katisse Buckingham, piccolo (1, 12); alto flute (1, 12)
Rich Perry, tenor saxophone (4, 5, 8, 10)
Produced by Bill Wysaske
The 22-year-old’s connection to jazz began at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts where she met and was mentored by drummer Bill Wysaske, who produced CRIME ZONE and has also become the musical director of her trio. Han shares her LACHSA alumni status with several major players in the entertainment industry such as Josh Groban, Jenna Elfman, Christina Milian and GRAMMY® Award-nominated jazz pianist and composer Gerald Clayton. After a three-week stint at UCLA, Han immediately began her professional piano career at 17-years-old; a step that Han believes gives her an overall edge against many players her age.
“Because I never received training from a formal jazz piano teacher, most of my musical perspective actually came from interacting with a professional drummer when I was just a youngling, trying to hang on for dear life. I think that experience has given me a unique edge which informs the heavily percussive elements of my playing.
“Connie Han is an amazing discovery for Mack Avenue, a young 20-something well beyond her years as both a human and a player. I honestly feel that she is the first young pianist I’ve heard who is more influenced by the neo-classicists young lions of the Kenny Kirkland/Mulgrew Miller era than of the many giants who came before them. “ — Mark Ruffin, SiriusXM Real Jazz
This 22-year-old pianist is the rare musician with fearsome technical chops, a breadth of historical knowledge and enough originality to write tunes that absorb your ear easily. She is about to release her debut album, “Crime Zone,” a collection of originals that source their ideas from 1960s post-bop and contemporary straight-ahead, but never sound overly studied. Mack Avenue. Oct. 12. (Russonello) — The New York Times
“She’s already a crazy-good player, arranger and improviser. She’s got all the technical mastery she’ll ever need and has absorbed the post-bop piano masters, both considerable achievements for anyone, let alone someone so young.” — DownBeat Magazine
This album contains no booklet.