Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Jihye Lee Orchestra: Daring Mind


Jihye Lee Orchestra: Daring Mind


Sign in to view read count
Jihye Lee Orchestra: Daring Mind
Listening to bandleader/composer Jihye Lee and her mic-drop orchestra is like watching your life flash before your eyes. You see it all: All the richness of spirit one can attain. All the sadness one can espouse. All the waltzing mischief to which one can aspire.

Testing malleability at every turn, Lee's on to an eclectic something that doesn't pass through the torpor too often: A lucid, active imagination. Thus Daring Mind, Lee's Motema Music debut, co-produced by Darcy James Argue serves not only as a triumphant successor to 2017's heralded, self-produced April, it plays as a buoyant drama, a roaming investigation that swells and swales in all the right places, ie: "Relentless Mind." The BMI Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize-winning original, "Unshakeable Mind" is percussive, romantic, and born of Brooklyn. "I Dare You It" dips, dives and squawks. Lee's second award winner, "Revived Mind" is an Asian lullaby child's dance with a Disney tilt. Trumpeter Sean Jones marks his territory with a lean, summoning tone, most notably on the defining "Struggle Gives You Strength," a Duke Ellington scion if ever ever there was one.

The bluesy "Why Is That" sets up the cliff-jumping "Dissatisfied Mind" which, once you dust yourself up from the landing, steers you into a Manhattan rush hour just as the grid goes down and all the lights go out. If it sounds like a panic it is, but Lee's insistence on a steadfast harmonic core holds steady. And you hold course steadily too, into the lysergic, vista-vision swirls of Daring Mind's closing valediction, "GB."

Track Listing

Relentless Mind; Unshakeable Mind; Suji; I Dare You; Revived Mind; Struggle Gives You Strength; Why Is That; Dissatisfied Mind; GB.


Jihye Lee
composer / conductor
Sean Jones
Alan Ferber
Ben Kono
Quensin Nachoff
saxophone, tenor
Mike Fahie
Rob Wilkerson
saxophone, alto
John Lake
Alex Norris
Nick Grinder
Jennifer Wharton
trombone, bass
Evan Gregor
bass, acoustic
Additional Instrumentation

Jeremy Powell: reeds; Carl Maraghi: reeds; Mark Patterson: trombone # 2,5; Haeun Joo: piano (2, 5, 8).

Album information

Title: Daring Mind | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Motéma Music



For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.


Ellie Lee
Red Planet
Marco Colonna / Edoardo Marraffa / Fabrizio Spera...
The Salerno Concert
Bob Mover / Walter Davis Jr.


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.