The Hyeseon Hong Orchestra will perform at Birdland on Sunday October 22nd at 6pm. This will be the official CD release concert for the album "Ee-Ya-Gi". Birdland is located at 315 West 44th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues on the west side of midtown Manhattan.
“It’s a delightful debut, filled with swing, classical flourishes, post-bop and, most enticingly of all, traditional Korean folk melodies.”
“Exhibiting an insatiable appetite for jazz-fusion, Ms. Hong proves to be a talented orchestrator and musical thinker who is not afraid to risk while crossing genre boundaries.”
“…an infinitely interesting orchestral extravaganza.”
“Modern big band enthusiasts take note, “EE-YA-GI” is complex and challenging, but also fun and buoyant too… Let’s hope there will be many more albums from Hyeseon Hong in the near future.”
“…a fine album… Recommended for Hong’s nice tune construction, the ensemble playing and the outstanding solos!”
“What a delightful surprise. Korean-born composer / arranger Hyeseon Hong… enfolds the best of two worlds —east and west —on her superlative debut album, EE-YA-GI (Stories)… As one whose path lies mostly on the horizon, Hyeseon Hong has served notice with EE-YA-GI that hers is a voice to be hearkened to and applauded within the ranks of contemporary big-band composers and arrangers. Well done.”
HyeSeon Hong – EE-YA-GI (STORIES): Having lived in Korea for around 15 years, I can tell you that the kind of jazz Ms. Hong leads here wasn’t at all common until (maybe) around the early 21st century… even as late as 2010, those band leaders (and players) who were doing jazz still hadn’t quite “got it” – so this excellent 50 minute set featuring a whole host of players, is truly a treat! As you listen to great songs like “Para Mi Amigo Distante“, you’ll realize just how talented she and her players are at developing a piece gradually (it clocks in at 8:00 minutes) into the kind of jazz that the genre came from in the first place… each of the instruments melds into the overall effort to give you one of the most pleasant jazz listens you’ll ever experience! I just loved the vocal work on the oddly titled “Disappearing Into Foam“, and the piano work is superb! From the standpoint of Korean music integrated seamlessly with great jazz, my personal favorite of the seven tunes offered up, though, is the light and airy opener, “Harvest Dance“… one of the strongest full-blown orchestral jazz pieces I’ve heard (yet) in 2017. I give HyeSeon and her playmates a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for this superb album, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98. Get more information on Ms. Hong’s website.