EUNMI LEE

Post Bop • Korea
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Eunmi Lee is a New York-based Korean jazz pianist, composer, and educator who is fearless in experimenting with blending her cultural background with contemporary Jazz. At a young age, she discovered her love for music. She did her associate degree at the Seoul Institute of Arts in Korea. After graduating, she worked as a professional musician in many different fields, including theater, bandstand, and media music in Korea. In 2016, she expanded her music horizon by studying and playing abroad during her Bachelor of Music degree in the Netherlands as a Jazz piano major with a Holland National Excellence scholarship.

In 2019, she completed her bachelor of music program one year earlier than expected. She was fascinated by Jazz music and eager to explore it deeply. In 2020, she moved to New York City and received her master of music degree from New York University as a Jazz piano
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EUNMI LEE Introspection album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Introspection
Post Bop 2023

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EUNMI LEE Introspection

Album · 2023 · Post Bop
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js
Eunmi Lee is a new comer to the NYC jazz scene, and “Introspection” is her first album as a leader. In 2005 Lee earned her first college level music degree in Seoul and then went on to a variety of musical jobs in Korea. For a long time she dreamed of coming to the states and playing jazz, but it took a while for all that to happen. She made it to California in 2007, but financial concerns drove her back home again. Eventually, by way of the Netherlands, Eunmi finally made it to NYU where she received a masters degree in jazz piano in 2022. Wasting no time, Lee sat down with some top notch local musicians and had her first album out within a year of leaving school. All of these songs were composed and arranged by Lee and they show a wide variety of interests ranging from post bop combos to big band and also neo-classical chamber music. One of the more endearing aspects of “Introspection” involves Lee’s CD liner notes in which she elaborates on the perspectives and emotions that are involved with each tune she composed.

As mentioned already, there is plenty of eclecticism to go around on these tracks. Album opener, “Gimmick”, sets a contemporary post bop mood with Lee and John Ellis on tenor sax taking the solos. The following two tracks show Eunmi’s abilities as a neo-classical composer. Although she has marked out an individual style as a jazz pianist, its her skills as a composer that really sets Lee apart. Her compositions are very direct and melodic and devoid of pretentious window dressing. An entire album of her chamber compositions would probably be a sure treat.

On “Mr Weird”, Eunmi gets her big band arranger hat on and shows a Quincy Jones style light breezy approach to arranging that avoids the heaviness that can happen with clumsy arrangements. As the album closes out we get some ballad material and a little more of Lee’s chamber compositional skills. The future looks good for Eunmi Lee, lets hope we hear more of her compositions and arrangements soon.

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