EUNMI LEE — Introspection

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EUNMI LEE - Introspection cover
3.50 | 1 rating | 1 review
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Album · 2023

Filed under Post Bop
By EUNMI LEE

Tracklist

1. Gimmick 05:58
2. Suspicion 03:08
3. 5.19 05:30
4. Narcissism 06:53
5. Mr. Weird 04:55
6. Wavelength 05:07
7. Azure 05:04

Line-up/Musicians

Trumpet - Tony Kadleck (track 5)
Trombone - Alan Ferber (track 1, 4, 5, 7)
Soprano, Alto Sax - Jon Gordon (track 5, 7)
Alto, Baritone Sax - Remy Le Boeuf (track 4, 5, 7)
Tenor Sax, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet - John Ellis (track 1, 2, 3, 5, 7)
Violin - Joyce Hammann (track 2, 3, 7), Meg Okura (track 3)
Viola - Lois Martin (track 2, 3, 7)
Cello - Maria Jeffers (track 3), Jody Redhage (track 2)
Guitar - Vinicius Gomes (track 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Piano - Eunmi Lee (track 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Double Bass - Matt Clohesy (track 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Drums - Ari Hoenig (track 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

About this release

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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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