Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

7

Hyeseon Hong Jazz Orchestra: EE-YA-GI (Stories)

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
What a delightful surprise. Korean-born composer / arranger Hyeseon Hong, a graduate of NYU who now lives in New Jersey, enfolds the best of two worlds —east and west —on her superlative debut album, EE-YA-GI (Stories), introducing Hong's eighteen-piece Jazz Orchestra and some heavy-hitting soloists including trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and tenor saxophonist Rich Perry.

While Hong salutes her heritage at various points along the way, she proves on every number her conclusive grasp of traditional western jazz, writing themes whose handsome melodic and harmonic framework is nourished by an abiding sense of swing as epitomized by large ensembles from Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington through Basie, Herman, Buddy Rich, Jones-Lewis and others of that breed. As the album's title denotes, Hong's writing is largely thematic, ranging from Thanksgiving ("Harvest Dance") to youth and love ("Friends or Lovers"), long- lost friends ("Para mi Amigo Distante"), her Korean heritage ("Boat Song"), girlhood memories ("Disappearing Into Foam"), first love ("Love Song") and even the idiosyncrasies of an unruly dog ("Trash Digging Queen").

The opening "Harvest Dance," inspired, Hong writes, by a traditional Korean rhythm, encompasses bright solos by Jensen and trombonist Ron Wilkens. Alto Ben Kono, guitarist Matt Panayides and Matt Vashlishan on EWI are the soloists on the light-footed "Friends or Lovers," Kono (soprano) and tenor Jeremy Powell on "Para mi Amigo," which dances to a breezy Latin groove. Perry is showcased on the eastern-oriented "Boat Song" (which includes a wordless vocal by E.J. Park and Subin Park) and solos again on the playful "Trash Digging Queen." Pianist Broc Hempel is the lone improviser on the lyrical "Disappearing into Foam" (with more wordless vocals), trumpeter Jensen on the warm and even-tempered finale, "Love Song."

As one whose path lies mostly on the horizon, Hyeseon Hong has served notice with EE-YA-GI that hers is a voice to be hearkened to and applauded within the ranks of contemporary big-band composers and arrangers. Well done.

Track Listing: Harvest Dance; Friends or Lovers; Para mi Amigo Distante; Boat Song; Disappearing into Foam; Trash Digging Queen; Love Song.

Personnel: Hyeseon Hong: composer, arranger, director; Augie Haas: trumpet; Ingrid Jensen: trumpet; Jason Wiseman: trumpet; Colin Brigstocke: trumpet; Ben Kono: alto, soprano sax, flute; Matt Vashlishan: alto, flute, EWI; Rich Perry: tenor sax; Jeremy Powell: tenor sax, clarinet; Andrew Hadro: baritone sax, bass clarinet; Ron Wilkens: trombone; Daniel Linden: trombone; Ric Becker: trombone; Becca Patterson: trombone; Matt Panayides: guitar; Broc Hempel: piano; John Lenis: bass; Mark Ferber: drums; E.J. Park: vocals; Subin Park: vocal (4).

Title: EE-YA-GI (Stories) | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: MAMA Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read The Tale CD/LP/Track Review
The Tale
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Down a Rabbit Hole CD/LP/Track Review
Down a Rabbit Hole
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Trioliloquy CD/LP/Track Review
Trioliloquy
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Perspectives II CD/LP/Track Review
Perspectives II
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Red CD/LP/Track Review
Red
by Nick Catalano
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Everything's OK CD/LP/Track Review
Everything's OK
by Doug Collette
Published: December 16, 2018
Read "Traveling Pulse" CD/LP/Track Review Traveling Pulse
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 15, 2018
Read "The Blues and I Should have a Party" CD/LP/Track Review The Blues and I Should have a Party
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 14, 2018
Read "Lineage" CD/LP/Track Review Lineage
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 19, 2018
Read "Cooking Groove" CD/LP/Track Review Cooking Groove
by Jim Olin
Published: July 15, 2018
Read "Fatidic Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review Fatidic Dreams
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 4, 2018
Read "Traveler" CD/LP/Track Review Traveler
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 14, 2018