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SOCAL JAZZ

Maureen Choi: A Fusion of Passion and Intent

Read "Maureen Choi: A Fusion of Passion and Intent" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Maureen Choi is certainly not the first musician to find their way into the improvisational jazz world after years of training as a classical violinist. It was an unlikely direction for a woman who grew up with formal classical training and further had never really listened to jazz. Fast forwarding to the present, we now have the Maureen Choi Quartet. A nothing-short-of-brilliant ensemble of musicians who play and compose with intense and fiery passion. Choi's music is a seamless symmetry ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Maureen Choi Quartet at BacchusLIVE

Read "Maureen Choi Quartet at BacchusLIVE" reviewed by Jim Worsley

We live in an era where chit chatting now, most annoyingly, rivals actual listening to the music at many concerts. It is with supreme delight then, that I share my enthralling experience of an evening of musical brilliance that was free of any such boorish clutter. You could have heard a pin drop at Bacchus' Kitchen in Pasadena, California during the Maureen Choi Quartet performance. A virtuoso violinist, Choi, and her bandmates treated an attentive and appreciative audience to two ...

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Maureen Choi Quartet: Theia

Read "Theia" reviewed by Geno Thackara

It is appropriate that Maureen Choi's career has included extensive teaching stints in jny: New York City and her newer home base, jny: Madrid. Both have a rich musical history bridging the body-moving and the cerebral. The Choi quartet honors both on their third outing Theia; it's a work overflowing with smarts which never forgets to aim for the heart and/or the feet as well. “Phoenix Borealis" sets the tone right away by simmering in chamber jazz and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Maureen Choi: Theia

Read "Theia" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Maureen Choi's classical training and leanings are at the forefront and provide a substantial foundation. The palette is then wide open to incorporate jazz, flamenco, and fandango. Theia has a distinctive array of colors and has profoundly compelling undertones. Each song is its own unique journey with unknown passages, trap doors, and idiosyncratic paths leading to seamless tempo changes and unrestrained exploration. Theia opens with its most spacious and exhilarating piece. Choi's epic composition “Phoenix Borealis" traverses ...

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Maureen Choi Quartet: Theia

Read "Theia" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

On the third outing with her quartet, American violinist and composer Maureen Choi perfects the style she has been developing over the past albums with much love for detail and an awareness of the catchy and the danceable. In a mix of originals and interpretations of Spanish and Latin American classics, Choi's quartet presents over an hour of enticing rhythms and melodies, with an invigorating energy that is an invitation to join in. Born in Michigan, and having ...

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Maureen Choi Quartet: Theia

Read "Theia" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

These days, it's the rule rather than the exception to mix different traditions of music, and the result is sometimes a postmodern grab bag without aesthetic direction. Transgressing genres isn't inherently a sign of quality. In fact, it can be a symptom of shallowness--something that surely isn't needed in these fast-clicking times. But then again, it also happens that an artist digs deep into different traditions of music in order to refine a personal language. This is ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Maureen Choi Quartet: Ida Y Vuelta

Read "Ida Y Vuelta" reviewed by James Nadal

The phrase, Ida Y Vuelta, literally translates into roundtrip, as in a journey, going somewhere and returning back to point of origin. For violin virtuoso Maureen Choi, her sojourn to Spain in 2012 has turned into an extended residency, as an educator, and applying her musical prowess to expand upon the influence of Spanish music from the Iberian Peninsula to the Caribbean and into South America. Working within the quartet format, she delves into established folkloric currents with inventive compositions ...


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