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South Korean Jazz Pianist Ellie Lee's 'Escape' Available Today

The promising young jazz pianist Ellie Lee introduces her musical narrative with her first full-length album, 'Escape,' a dynamic recording featuring seven originals and one jazz standard. 'Escape' highlights her diverse musical talents, emphasizing groove, meticulous orchestrations, and reflects Ellie’s collaborative spirit and artistic freedom, creating a captivating listening experience.
Ellie Lee
Pianist Ellie Lee grew up in Seoul, South Korea, and earned a Bachelor of Music in Classical Piano Performance from Sookmyung Women’s University. She moved from classical music to jazz because “I’ve always had a desire to play music freely without being constrained by rules. Eventually, I found jazz music, which has a certain frame but also can be changed freely.” The transition to jazz was helped by a scholarship to Boston’s Berklee College of Music where she received a Professional Diploma, studying with such pianists as NEA Jazz Master, JoAnne Brackeen, Alain Mallet, Tim Ray, and George W. Russell, Jr. Then, she earned a Master of Music in Jazz Performance degree from William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ, studying with Director of Jazz Studies Bill Charlap and pianist Geoffrey Keezer.

Lee’s new album, Escape, features seven original compositions and one arrangement that clearly display a blending of her jazz and classical backgrounds. In fact, in an interview with the West Essex Tribune Newspaper in Livingston, NJ, Lee said that, despite the fact she had become frustrated by classical music’s rigidity, she has begun to feel “the coexistence between classical music and jazz music.” On Escape, Lee is joined by saxophonist Steve Wilson, bassist Steve LaSpina (a WPUNJ faculty member), and drummer Jongkuk Kim.

Geoffrey Keezer who is a Grammy awards winner remembers that “Even as a student at William Paterson, Ellie was writing highly developed, fully fresh and contemporary jazz compositions. She’s a pianist who understands the various idioms she works in: the importance of groove, attention to the subtle details of orchestration and arranging, and giving the players she hires space to contribute. And she can back it up with really solid piano playing." “Ellie and her A-list band navigate the curveballs, twists, and turns, and surprises of these compositions with ease and grace, creating a beautiful and seamless flow.” —Sanford Josephson (Jersey Jazz Magazine Editor)

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Track Listing

Escape; Beyond the Blue; A Fine Day; Melrose Breeze; Whisper Not; Toss and Turn; On the Road; New Chapter.


Ellie Lee
Steve Wilson
saxophone, alto

Album information

Title: Escape | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: Sori-E Naite Music Company


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