ARTIST: Lee Won-sool ALBUM: Into The Time LABEL: Mirrorball Jazz World
Within the ever-expanding realm of the Korean jazz scene, it’s no secret (or surprise), that the primary instrument of choice is the piano– followed up by guitar, then various horns. For some reason the double bass seems to be the genre’s red-headed stepchild…! Well, no more – “Into the Time” is a cracking jazz effort propelled by Lee Won-sool’s accomplished fret-work and compositional nous; this album has “verve” as it’s middle name. At times it is poignantly reflective – as great jazz should be when required – showcased most tellingly on “New Morning” and “Returning”; at others strident, evocative, and purposeful – again as great jazz should also be; especially on “Retrograde II” and “Welcome To Life”. Apart from Lee’s bass, the absolutely riveting, stellar accompaniment from Vian on piano (shades of Herbie Hancock throughout…), Cho Jung-hyun’s trumpet (channelling both Freddie Hubbard and Miles Davis), and guitar luminary Jean Oh’s string-bending magic weaving a lovely sonic tapestry, elevate this effort to a seriously higher plane; this is contemporary Korean jazz writ large!