138

Seung-Hee: Waiting

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Seung-Hee: Waiting With a voice that is a lovely as a songbird coupled with exquisiteness, singer Seung-Hee's Waiting is a refreshing jazz vocal debut. Born in Seoul, South Korea, the composer/singer lives and performs in New York City, where her craft is a product of her academic studies in Seoul and Berklee College of Music in Boston, and varied artistic experiences.

The set is informed of both classical music and jazz improvisation, with Seung-Hee presenting five originals, two written by band member/saxophonist Stephan Kammerer and three covers. These elements come together exceptionally well as on the title track, where the singer's voice is a finely tuned instrument, singing a stunning wordless melody followed by verses in Korean, as her quintet performs sumptuous music.

It's the arrangement of Irving Berlin's "How Deep is the Ocean" that further proves this band. The unwavering classic lifts with an emphatic voice/sax harmony, then soars higher with Pete Rende's classical pianism and the stalwart rhythm front of bassist Kevin Thomas and drummer Ronen Itzik; a rousing blend of chamber and swing.

"No One" dances with ease from bop to ballad, then back again, with Seung-Hee scatting like Ella Fitzgerald whereas the sublime version of Stevie Wonder's "Blame It On The Sun" is an unique escape; Thomas' powerful arco provides the perfect accompaniment to Seung-Hee's diamond atonal lyricism which exudes emotion. More escapades include the romantic "So In Love," which employ Rende's gossamer pump organ in a poignant song that might suggest traveling on the French Riviera.

If the grooviest joint is "The Unknown" with Itzik's awe-inspiring traps, sweet sax work, and the songstress in her native tongue, then the prettiest is "Afternoon" because of its gentle flow and a very lovely piano spot. Seung-Hee's voice is the center, in delicate control, never overshadowing and completely unselfish, in the caliber of singers such as Julie Hardy and Cassandra Wilson.

This is a rewarding release from a promising new voice that deserves recognition.


Track Listing: Waiting; How Deep Is the Ocean; Snow Day; No One; Blame It On the Sun; So in Love; The Unknown; Afternoon; Fly Away; The Place We All Start.

Personnel: Seunh-Hee: vocals; Stephan Kammerer: saxophone; Kevin Thomas: bass; Ronen Itzik: drums. Pete Rende: piano, pump organ.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Self Produced


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Gold" CD/LP/Track Review Gold
by Jim Olin
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Emily’s D+Evolution" CD/LP/Track Review Emily’s D+Evolution
by Mark F. Turner
Published: April 12, 2016
Read "The Incomparable Fiddler" CD/LP/Track Review The Incomparable Fiddler
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 12, 2016
Read "Negative Spaces" CD/LP/Track Review Negative Spaces
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "Chasing Pixies" CD/LP/Track Review Chasing Pixies
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: May 30, 2016
Read "Better Than Anything" CD/LP/Track Review Better Than Anything
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!