12

Jungsu Choi: Tschuss Jazz Era

Chris Mosey By

Sign in to view read count
Jungsu Choi: Tschuss Jazz Era
Living in a state of unresolved civil war since 1945, and lately under threat of nuclear annihilation, obviously sharpens the senses, gives the Korean people an edge the rest of us don't have. Recently, Donald Trump took one look and was blown away. He said (or perhaps Tweeted), "These are wonderful, hard-working people."

With the release of this album, comes the time for the jazz world to rise and join the American president in singing the praises of the Korean people and—specifically—those 12 of its members who make up the Jungsu Choi Tiny Orkester. For they are—yea verily, folks—something else.

What a shame it is that Charles Mingus is not still around to welcome them into the fold for it is in his restless spirit that Choi and his Tiny Orkester move and have their being. This is Jungsu Choi himself describing how he works: "In front of an empty sheet, I go on a fishing expedition to find notes that will fill out the blank measure.

"Sometimes it takes more than a week to fill a single measure, which is a difficult and lonely time. Suddenly, I grab a vague idea that seems to float through the air. However, in the majority of cases, this first idea is not the right one and instead is thrown out because it might be a cliché, old fashioned or simply too plain. For me, writing a piece of music is a laborious series of choices and throwing ideas away again and again."

Choi's list of people who inspire and motivate his choices includes—as Mingus's too surely would have done—Duke Ellington. One of the highlights of Tschuss Jazz Era (Tschuss means "Goodbye") is a reworking of Billy Strayhorn's "Take The A Train," retitled "What If Ellington Didn't Take The A Train?"

This earnest, bespectacled young man from the Hermit Kingdom also has the nerve to successfully take apart and reassemble Charlie Parker's "Anthropology" and Chick Corea's "Spain." The two remaining numbers, his own "Stolen Yellow" and "Nach Wein," more than hold their own in this exalted company.

An absolutely stunning album.

Track Listing

Stolen Yellow; Anthropology; Nach Wien 224; What If Ellington Didn’t Take the “A” Train?; Spain.

Personnel

Jungsu Choi: leader, composer, arranger, vocals (1, 3); Eunmi Kim: flute; Minkyu Cha: alto sax; Sungil Bae: tenor sax; Yejung Kim: trumpet; Junyeon Lee: trombone; Sehwa Kang: cello; Sungyun Hong: guitar; Jungmin Lee: piano; Joseph Han: bass; Hyunsu Lee: drums; Jinho Pyo: vocals (3, 5); Sehyun Baik: vocal (4).

Album information

Title: Tschuss Jazz Era | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Challenge Records

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Prickly Pear Cactus
Prickly Pear Cactus
Ikue Mori / Satoko Fujii / Natsuki Tamura
Read Time OutTakes
Time OutTakes
Dave Brubeck Quartet
Read In Baltimore
In Baltimore
The George Coleman Quintet

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.