Korean-born drummer Dayeon Seok (who now lives in New York) is open to a wide variety of jazz and improvisational music. Seok came to the United States in 2008, earning a Bachelor's degree at Berklee College of Music in Boston and a Master's degree at New York University (NYU). This EP presents three impressionistic originals, lyrical music that is intended to evoke visual images. The core quartet is comprised of guitarist Sung-Ho Choi, pianist Seong Yeob Lee, bassist Jeong Lim Yang, and Seok on drums. Trumpeter Ralph Alessi (she interned in his program, School for Improvisational Music (SIM)) guests on one track.
"Quiet Stars" opens the program gently, with Yeob's piano unaccompanied. It's a chamber sound, the bass sitting out, but things heat up briefly when Choi's guitar enters. He makes a strong impression on the entire EP with a contemporary style that often evokes Bill Frisell: alternately lyrical, atmospheric, or overdriven. "The Hourglass" is more up-tempo, with the whole band in action the whole time. Good solos again from Yeob and Choi, and a textural closing section. Final track "October Wind" has the piano sitting out, and features Alessi's trumpet, always a welcome presencehis playing raises the whole band up just a notch. Choi in particular plays his strongest solo of the set, and Yang gets the spotlight on his arco solo bass introduction.
Everyone is playing for the song here, and it's notable that Seok plays no drum solos. She makes her voice heard in the compositions and her leadership. Blurry Day Starry Night is a nice taster of her talents. Here's hoping there will be more from her, and the rest of the band.
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