Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!


Hyunil Lee: Living Water

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
Making his recording debut in impressive style, South Korean guitarist Hyunil Lee presents Living Water, a collection of original tunes performed in the straight-ahead tradition with glimpses of bebop, ballads, vocals and a touch of fusion to keep it interesting and varied. Based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Lee attended the Berklee College of Music and has performed in various venues throughout Boston, New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles as well as being a fixture in the Dallas jazz scene.

Recorded in Dallas, TX, Lee availed himself of the talent-rich pool of jazz musicians within the Dallas/Fort Worth area and assembled a top-notch quintet of players along with a vocalist in designing a creative set of music that's quite dynamic and fluid. Aided by tenor saxophonist Quamon Fowler on the opening "Walking in the Garden," Lee unleashes remarkably crisp guitar riffs leading the music ably supported by fellow South Korean bassist Young Heo, pianist Colin Campbell and drummer Terence Hobdy delivering a keeper of a piece.

If there's any doubt that this is Lee's album, all one has to hear is how this guitarist takes center stage in all most every tune like "Fortitude," without denying his band mates the space to perform their own solo moments. While the two starter pieces were fairly boppish in nature, the title track is a bit more withdrawn, warmer in nature allowing the leader to display his appreciable skills on the strings playing the gentler side of jazz.

An unselfish player, Lee allows saxophonist the featured role on the light "Secret Place" where Fowler is showcased on the soprano saxophone as Lee provides more of a supporting role with delicate play of his own. The band lets it swing on the lively and perky "Steadfast," one of the many burners found here worth repeated spins. All of the music are originals from Lee except the swinging Fowler-penned "Blues Lee," a fast-paced, blues-tinged number featuring sizzling solos from everyone in the group.

The only vocals of the recording showcases Shaleia Latrice James on an alternate take of Fowler's "Secret Place" serving as the finale tune of the album. There are times when one comes across an unknown artist whose music shines all over, such is the case with guitarist Hyunil Lee, as his first recording effort with Living Water, is a gem of an album sure to make a splash with critics and audiences everywhere. Containing excellent compositions, and superb musicianship, this is one recording deserving of attention.

Track Listing: Walking in the Garden; Fortitude; Living Water; Faithful; Secret Place; Wash Over Me; Steadfast; Blues Lee; Secret Place (Alternate track).

Personnel: Hyunil Lee: guitar; Quamon Fowler: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Young Heo: bass; Colin Campbell: piano; Terence Hobdy: drums; Shaleia Latrice James: vocals (9).

Title: Living Water | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Self Produced


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read The Songbook Project CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Project
by Don Phipps
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Solo a Genova CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Reaching Out CD/LP/Track Review Reaching Out
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "Freedom is Space for the Spirit" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom is Space for the Spirit
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "In Transit" CD/LP/Track Review In Transit
by Kris Perdew
Published: November 2, 2017
Read "A Gathering Foretold" CD/LP/Track Review A Gathering Foretold
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Moment Frozen" CD/LP/Track Review Moment Frozen
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Ugly Beauty" CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beauty
by Nick Davies
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "D'Agala" CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018