298

Jangeun Bae: The End And Everything After

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Jangeun Bae: The End And Everything After As a means of comparison only, the music of pianist Jangeun Bae is altogether more abstract than that of Chie Imaizumi or Min Rager. The latter two are very extroverted and up front about the emotions being expressed, while Bae is almost reticent in comparison, but with an intensity that burns beneath it all.

The observation that female musicians seem to be an optimistic group is not limited to Asian women, since Romona Borthwick and Tara Davidson exude it also. To be sure each puts her own spin on the optimistic, but, once hearing the connection, it is hard to deny it is there.

Bae is the most serious sounding of the group and yet has a romantic streak just beneath the surface. Serious here does not mean, of course, taking the music seriously, but rather the air of mystery combined with using small rather than large gestures as building blocks. The arrangements are full of drama and make full use of the trio's interplay to create emotional waves.

When Bae is improvising, she spins long lines made up of cells that are varied in many different ways both melodically and rhythmically, and then tied together to create a delicate yet strong net in which an attentive ear will bask. The effect of these piano lines is seductive and reinforced by bassist Ryan McGillicuddy and drummer Jon Deitemyer as they remain ever aware of Bae's twists and turns.

While every track has its own charms, the album's pacing creates its high point within the center third: "Donauquelle: The End and Everything After, Rachmaninov's "The Theme of Paganini" and "After He Has Gone."

"Donauquelle" is a German word meaning the "source of the Danube," and there is a monument built at the spot in southwest Germany. Juxtaposing this word with the phrase "the end and everything after," which has an oppositional meaning, is telling. Bae plays solo and this track is the most transparently romantic and emotional on the record.

"Paganini" begins with echoes of Ahmad Jamal, especially in Deitemyer's cymbal work, which brings to mind Vernel Fournier from Jamal's early trio, and has a dramatic slow section near the middle. Sadness quickly evolves to resoluteness as "After He Has Gone" progresses.

The most interesting thing about The End and Everything After is the ease with which all the deep structure and detail are wrapped within very accessible music. Even (or maybe especially) on the standard, "You Don't Know What Love Is," a casual listener will find much beauty and consonance, while a close listener will continue to uncover more and more as the layers are dissected and peeled away, which is a most pleasant undertaking.


Track Listing: Liberation Amalgamation; Secret Place; My Mother's House; Donauquelle: The End and Everything After; The Theme of Paganini; After He Has Gone; I am a Poor Wayfaring Stranger and Korean Folk Song; Procrastination; You Don't Know What Love Is.

Personnel: Jangeun Bae: piano; Ryan McGillicuddy: bass; Jon Deitemyer: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Kang Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Up and Coming" CD/LP/Track Review Up and Coming
by John Kelman
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "Horizon Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Horizon Ahead
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 17, 2016
Read "Star-Spangled Voltage" CD/LP/Track Review Star-Spangled Voltage
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 5, 2016
Read "More Stories from the Village" CD/LP/Track Review More Stories from the Village
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 13, 2016
Read "A Cry For Peace" CD/LP/Track Review A Cry For Peace
by Geannine Reid
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "Navigation Without Numbers" CD/LP/Track Review Navigation Without Numbers
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 3, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!