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ALBUM REVIEWS

Sungjae Son: Near East Quartet

Read "Near East Quartet" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Billed since its 2009 inception as Near East Quartet, the elevation of saxophonist Sungjae Son's name reflects the saxophonist's status as founder and de facto leader of this South Korean outfit, which forges a contemporary path from traditional roots. Its only previous album, the instrumental Chaosmos (KT Music, 2010) featured two percussionists alongside Son and co-founder, guitarist Suwuk Chong. The band's aesthetic changed significantly in 2015 with the addition of two women, pansori singer/percussionist Yulhee Kim and jazz drummer Soojin ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sungjae Son: Near East Quartet

Read "Near East Quartet" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Korean saxophonist Sungjae Son founded the Near East Quartet with the goal to form a bridge between traditional Korean music and American jazz. Korean music's traditional slow rhythmic feel is not immediately compatible with the regular rhythms of jazz--so it was up to the quartet's members to find a common ground. They followed different paths individually: Son and guitarist Suwuk Chung both studied in the United States, but at the time Son was a bebopper, while Chung was into fusion ...