Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Eunmi Lee: Introspection

54

Eunmi Lee: Introspection

By

Sign in to view read count
Eunmi Lee: Introspection
Eunmi Lee is a quick learner. The South Korean-born pianist, who now makes her home in New York City, did not become acquainted with or interested in jazz until a friend introduced her to the GRP Records catalogue. That was more than a year after she had received a degree in contemporary piano from the Seoul Institute for the Arts, in 2005. Eager to learn more, Lee came to California in 2007 to take part in an open house at the Musicians Institute but had to return to Korea soon after for financial reasons.

Lee later earned a bachelor's degree in jazz studies from the Maastricht Conservatorium in the Netherlands (2019), and a year later moved to New York City where she received a Master of Music degree in jazz piano from New York University. That led in turn to gigs around the New York area, a friendship with trombonist Alan Ferber, among others, and her splendid debut album, Introspection, so named, she writes, for the "inner observations" that arise in her consciousness... "describing emotions, images and phenomena" that she then translates into music.

While Lee wrote and arranged all of the album's seven attractive themes and plays on all but one ("Suspicion"), she solos on only four. The brooding "Suspicion" was written for strings and features members of that section with bass clarinetist John Ellis. And although no guitarist appears on the personnel list, Vinicius Gomes plays a prominent role on four numbers including the straight-on opener, "Gimmick," and esoteric finale, "Azure," on which he and the strings are front and center. Ferber is present on four tracks but solos (admirably) only on the notably upbeat "Narcissism."

Lee and alto Remy Le Boeuf solo as well on "Narcissism," while Ellis (tenor), Gomes and drummer Ari Hoenig share the honors on "Gimmick," Lee and Ellis (clarinet) on the sultry "5.19," Ellis (tenor) and alto Jon Gordon (making the most of his lone solo) on "Mr. Weird," Lee, Gomes and bassist Matt Clohesy on "Wavelength." While the better part of the music is, well, introspective, it is balanced to some extent by the more animated numbers: "Gimmick," "Narcissism" and "Mr. Weird." In sum, an exemplary debut by the talented Lee who seems destined for wider appreciation. Readers should note, however, that the album's playing time is less than thirty-seven minutes.

Track Listing

Gimmick; Suspicion; 5.19; Narcissism; Mr. Weird; Wavelength; Azure.

Personnel

Eunmi Lee
piano
Alan Ferber
trombone
Tony Kadleck
trumpet
Remy Le Boeuf
saxophone, alto
John Ellis
saxophone, tenor
Jon Gordon
saxophone, alto
Meg Okura
violin

Album information

Title: Introspection | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: You&Me Music


Comments

Tags


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.

More

Heaven On My Mind
Yuri Honing Acoustic Quartet
Beatin' the Odds
Leigh Pilzer
Nimble Digits
Geoff Stradling

Popular

The Seagull's Serenade
Dominik Schürmann
Heartland Radio
Remy Le Boeuf’s Assembly of Shadows
Slow Water
Stephan Crump

Get more of a good thing!

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