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Jihye Lee Orchestra|Daring Mind

Daring Mind

Jihye Lee Orchestra

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For the most part, the folks who have made the greatest strides in composing jazz music in recent decades have been accomplished players who have translated their performance skills into crafting stunning new pieces of music. The idea of a jazz composer whose primary role is writing and arranging a piece and then conducting a band in that piece's performance is a unique one in this day and age. Heck, even Duke Ellington was a best-in-class pianist who held his own with his firecracker bands, and more contemporary composers like Carla Bley and Michael Mantler are exceptional practitioners on their instruments. All of which is to say, South Korea native Jihye Lee is something of an anomaly, made even more special because her earliest musical career was as an indie pop singer-songwriter who didn't even have an interest in jazz composition until a decade ago when she enrolled in Berklee and soon after won the Duke Ellington Prize. In other words, despite not having a background as a player (or even singer!) of jazz, Jihye Lee clearly has both an affinity and a special approach to composing pieces for jazz bands, as evidenced by the superlative pieces within Daring Mind, her second album. Conducting a 16-piece orchestra through nine original compositions, Lee avoids anything remotely resembling a jazz cliché, utilizing this ultra-brassy ensemble (four trumpets, three trombones, four saxophones, ) to lush, immersive effect, rather than engaging in swingtime revisionism. The effect is an enveloping, almost narrative approach to the material; despite all of the players' impressive precision and inarguable instrumental facility, Daring Mind feels less like a big band album than it does the soundtrack to a very specific and highly imaginative movie. Although the nine compositions were written for different purposes and at different times, they feel remarkably consistent in tenor and tone. Lee is absolutely swinging for the fences a couple of times here—most notably on the longer cuts like the near-10-minutes-long "Unshakable MInd" as well as on the dreamy and complex "GB"—and consistently knocks it out of the park when she does. An incredibly impressive album that's as surprising as it is satisfying. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz

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Daring Mind

Jihye Lee Orchestra

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1
Relentless Mind
00:06:18

GENE PAUL, MasteringEngineer - Brian Montgomery, MixingEngineer - Sean Jones, FeaturedArtist - Alan Ferber, FeaturedArtist - Darcy James Argue, Producer - Jihye Lee, Composer, Producer - Jihye Lee Orchestra, MainArtist - jihyemusic, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Jihye Lee under exclusive license to Motéma Music. (P) 2021 JIHYEMUSIC (ASCAP)

2
Unshakable Mind
00:09:57

GENE PAUL, MasteringEngineer - Brian Montgomery, MixingEngineer - Darcy James Argue, Producer - Jihye Lee, Composer, Producer - Jihye Lee Orchestra, MainArtist - jihyemusic, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Jihye Lee under exclusive license to Motéma Music. (P) 2021 JIHYEMUSIC (ASCAP)

3
Suji
00:08:53

Brian Montgomery, MixingEngineer - Darcy James Argue, Producer - Jihye Lee, Composer, Producer - Jihye Lee Orchestra, MainArtist - jihyemusic, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Jihye Lee under exclusive license to Motéma Music. (P) 2021 JIHYEMUSIC (ASCAP)

4
I Dare You
00:05:49

GENE PAUL, MasteringEngineer - Brian Montgomery, MixingEngineer - Darcy James Argue, Producer - Jihye Lee, Composer, Producer - Jihye Lee Orchestra, MainArtist - jihyemusic, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Jihye Lee under exclusive license to Motéma Music. (P) 2021 JIHYEMUSIC (ASCAP)

5
Revived Mind
00:06:44

GENE PAUL, MasteringEngineer - Brian Montgomery, MixingEngineer - Darcy James Argue, Producer - Jihye Lee, Composer, Producer - Jihye Lee Orchestra, MainArtist - jihyemusic, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Jihye Lee under exclusive license to Motéma Music. (P) 2021 JIHYEMUSIC (ASCAP)

6
Struggle Gives You Strength
00:05:57

GENE PAUL, MasteringEngineer - Brian Montgomery, MixingEngineer - Sean Jones, FeaturedArtist - Darcy James Argue, Producer - Jihye Lee, Composer, Producer - Jihye Lee Orchestra, MainArtist - jihyemusic, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Jihye Lee under exclusive license to Motéma Music. (P) 2021 JIHYEMUSIC (ASCAP)

7
Why is That
00:05:50

GENE PAUL, MasteringEngineer - Brian Montgomery, MixingEngineer - Darcy James Argue, Producer - Jihye Lee, Composer, Producer - Jihye Lee Orchestra, MainArtist - jihyemusic, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Jihye Lee under exclusive license to Motéma Music. (P) 2021 JIHYEMUSIC (ASCAP)

8
Dissatisfied Mind
00:05:54

GENE PAUL, MasteringEngineer - Brian Montgomery, MixingEngineer - Darcy James Argue, Producer - Jihye Lee, Composer, Producer - Jihye Lee Orchestra, MainArtist - jihyemusic, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Jihye Lee under exclusive license to Motéma Music. (P) 2021 JIHYEMUSIC (ASCAP)

9
GB
00:09:24

GENE PAUL, MasteringEngineer - Brian Montgomery, MixingEngineer - Darcy James Argue, Producer - Jihye Lee, Composer, Producer - Jihye Lee Orchestra, MainArtist - jihyemusic, MusicPublisher

(C) 2021 Jihye Lee under exclusive license to Motéma Music. (P) 2021 JIHYEMUSIC (ASCAP)

Album Description

For the most part, the folks who have made the greatest strides in composing jazz music in recent decades have been accomplished players who have translated their performance skills into crafting stunning new pieces of music. The idea of a jazz composer whose primary role is writing and arranging a piece and then conducting a band in that piece's performance is a unique one in this day and age. Heck, even Duke Ellington was a best-in-class pianist who held his own with his firecracker bands, and more contemporary composers like Carla Bley and Michael Mantler are exceptional practitioners on their instruments. All of which is to say, South Korea native Jihye Lee is something of an anomaly, made even more special because her earliest musical career was as an indie pop singer-songwriter who didn't even have an interest in jazz composition until a decade ago when she enrolled in Berklee and soon after won the Duke Ellington Prize. In other words, despite not having a background as a player (or even singer!) of jazz, Jihye Lee clearly has both an affinity and a special approach to composing pieces for jazz bands, as evidenced by the superlative pieces within Daring Mind, her second album. Conducting a 16-piece orchestra through nine original compositions, Lee avoids anything remotely resembling a jazz cliché, utilizing this ultra-brassy ensemble (four trumpets, three trombones, four saxophones, ) to lush, immersive effect, rather than engaging in swingtime revisionism. The effect is an enveloping, almost narrative approach to the material; despite all of the players' impressive precision and inarguable instrumental facility, Daring Mind feels less like a big band album than it does the soundtrack to a very specific and highly imaginative movie. Although the nine compositions were written for different purposes and at different times, they feel remarkably consistent in tenor and tone. Lee is absolutely swinging for the fences a couple of times here—most notably on the longer cuts like the near-10-minutes-long "Unshakable MInd" as well as on the dreamy and complex "GB"—and consistently knocks it out of the park when she does. An incredibly impressive album that's as surprising as it is satisfying. © Jason Ferguson/Qobuz

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