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|Hey Rim Jeon||Primary Artist, Piano|
|Terri Lyne Carrington||Drums|
|Benny Golson||Liner Notes|
|Oscar Hammerstein II||Composer|
|Oscar Zambrano||Engineer, Mastering|
|Hey Rim Jeon||Arranger, Composer, Producer|
|Daisuke Ishiwatari||Engineer, Mastering|
Posted March 25, 2012
During my days with Elektra Records... chasing the bubble gum scene, I would end my days listening to the music I wished I could produce. This album by Hey Rim Jeon is one such example. Unlike many of the Asian jazz artists I have heard, who strive to showcase the purity of America's classical music, Hey combines her penchant for that music with clear influxes of indigenous sounds from the far east; and as far as I can tell, the result is her own voice, clearly identifiable in what has become and American gumbo of both traditional and non-traditional ingredients. The tune, Ariang, a solo performance, exemplifies such commentary. Hey's other compositions, Metamorphosis and Alpha and Omega, demonstrate Jeon's ability to utlize rich modal harmonies driven by high energy rhythm's. While her compositions are most impressive, Hey does not come up short by any means as a pianist. Her playing is clean, sensitive and definitely indicates one who has great experience in a number of genres. Hey is articulate and deliberate... one is never confused about what she is saying.
The musicians that she has chosen to complement her sound demonstrate a clear understanding of the music, and are "first call" having themselves played with many of the jazz masters... and they themselves also, now wear such branding. Hey Rim, who looks not yet out of her twenties, is joined by Dave Liebman, a former member of Miles Davis' band and who's career spans about 40 years. The fact that he chooses to play with such a young and new talent as Hey Rim Jeon, tells you something about Jeon's ability to reach the old soul and at the same time, breathe new life into the music; also one of Liebman's trade marks. Drummer Teri Lyne Carrington, now a veteran and grammy award winning writer and producer, brings her extra special sauce to the mix along with Bassist James Genus (of the SNL band) who is as versatile as the compositions themselves. I've heard Richie Barshay in a number of settings, mostly as a set drummer... and he remains one of my favorites. On this project he plays various hand drums and percussion; again, a perfect choice to complement this the aforementioned indigenous and contemporary/traditional blend. If cover tunes are what you choose to hear, Jeon's arrangement of "Softly As In a Morning Sunrise" will definitely give you something else to think about as you imagine yourself waking up somewhere on the island sands of Dubai... during finer times. This rendition alone is reason enough to give this project a really good listen. I also found it on one of her earlier CD's Hey Rim Jeon and Friends... recorded about 10 years ago. She seems to have really had a clue at that time, but now she truly knows the deal!