5

Eugenia Choe: Magic Light

James Nadal By

Sign in to view read count
Eugenia Choe: Magic Light
One of the most interesting aspects of jazz immersion studies is how it influences and affects players from diverse backgrounds. Korean born and classically trained pianist Eugenia Choe was drawn to jazz by its opportunities for compositional development and improvisational challenges, bringing to Magic Light a lyrical understanding of technical structure, and an intellectual ability to swing.

This being her recording debut, Choe came to the sessions with an abundance of original material, revealing her pianistic virtuosity and versatility. Her accompanists, bassist Danny Weller and drummer Alex Wyatt, have been with her for several years, and the cohesive element is evident. Beginning with "Shades Of Light," there is a sense of spaciousness that permeates the entire production, and the bowing bass adds a flair of mysterious baroque on this track. "Koquirri," an ode to the elephant, is a euphonious interaction with the rhythm, propelled by a steady bass attack.

The mood softens with the graceful "Petals," a piano/bass interval which glides into Billy Strayhorn's "A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing." A song where Choe and Weller show their accumulated jazz understanding with a straight ahead trio number. "Magic Light," exhibits Choe's aptitude for flotation in her writing, as sections appear to have a buoyant nature. The harmonious "Scattered Chant," has aggressive passages leading to the piano and bass solos, and a hymnological ending.

"Maison de Crescent," is a dreamy waltz with a traditional Korean jung jung mori rhythm, which is reminiscent of ancient blues patterns. They go fluently into the easy swing of "When Lights Are Low," penned by Benny Carter, the band slipping into the corner pocket with ease. Love is represented in the ballad "Where Are Hearts Stay," that is both joyous and contemplative, performed with the proper attitude for romance. They wrap it up with "Astor Botanic," an organic tribute to gardening, and the natural world, completed in a smooth and flowing matter.

Jazz continues to regenerate as more players come into the fold, honoring the timeless process of searching for their inner voice. The piano trio format is an intensive and laborious undertaking, requiring much practice and dedication, coupled with abundant talent, to achieve attainable goals. Eugenia Choe rode her personally distinctive currents into this amalgamated music, and made a magnificent record.

Track Listing

Shades Of Light; Koquirri; Petals; A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing; Magic Light; Scattered Chant; Maison De Cresent; When Lights Are Low; Where Our Hearts Stay; Astor Botanic.

Personnel

Eugenia Choe: piano; Danny Weller: bass; Alex Wyatt: drums.

Album information

Title: Magic Light | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Steeplechase Productions

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Hug!
Hug!
Matt Wilson Quartet
Read Touch & Go
Touch & Go
Susan Tobocman
Read The Ilkley Suite
The Ilkley Suite
Jamil Sheriff
Read Moving Through Worlds
Moving Through Worlds
Fiona Joy Hawkins
Read Data Lords
Data Lords
Maria Schneider Orchestra
Read Sleepy Town
Sleepy Town
Jamie Pregnell
Read Momento
Momento
Dave Milligan
Read Peace
Peace
Spirit Fingers

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.