South Korean singer/composer Young-Ae Jung made her recording debut with her 2013 The Man I Love (Self Produced). On that recording, the singer revealed herself as a more-than-capable composer, whose motifs and archetypes are of the same mature variety. The singer proved the universality of jazz by her incorporation of both English and Korean lyrics in her music. Jung also proved ready to take on the Great American Songbook, resulting in The Man I Love being a wholly enjoyable jazz vocals disc.
On the present recording, Because I Love You, Jung devotes her entire recording to original compositions divided over two bands. Jung reprises two pieces from her debut recording, "A Rainy Day in Boston" and the sublime "YAJ's Bop" with the support of her American quartet: pianist Douglass Johnson, bassist Greg Feingold, drummer John Wood and trumpeter Takeshi Obayashi. These previously release originals meld very well with those Jung has since composed and performed with her Korean quartet of pianist Youngse Jeon, bassist Jaekon Jeon, drummer Junghwan Park, and trumpeter Sunyong Bae. Part of this melding between the materials is the juxtaposition of material. Jung's newer material show a complete growth and maturation into a serious contender in jazz composition and vocals.
The compositions "108 Afflictions," "Mr. Mo," and "Arirang Blues" demonstrate a light-year advance in Jung's compositional abilities. And that is just the music. These three examples are sung in her native Korean, an experience that imparts the same universality to jazz that Italian Opera possesses, that is, appeal beyond awareness. That is a rare thing. Jung presents the title composition both in English and Korean, deepening this musical pantheism. "Arirang Blues" and "New Arirang" incorporate a well-known Korean folk theme, readily adapted to both the blues and ballad aspects of jazz. This is the direction of the music...all music.
Track Listing: Because I Love You (English); Spring Rain in The Sunshine (여우비); Falling Snow Over The Mystic River; That Summer In Seattle; Because I Love You (Korean); Arirang Blues; Rainy Autumn Day In Boston; Afflictions (백팔번뇌); Rain in December; New Arirang; Mr. Mo; To My Lover; YAJ's Bop.