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Seung-Hee

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Primary Instrument: Vocalist

Seung-Hee

From Seoul, South Korea, and now living in Brooklyn, Seung-Hee is calling attention to her unique voice and striking talent with standout composing, writing and arrangements. A graduate of Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music after first studying French literature, she will be releasing a new album, 'Sketches on the Sky하늘에 그린 그림'. Seung-Hee is a bold, adventurous artist who sings in Korean, English, Portuguese and contributes very distinctive vocalizing on Sketches on the Sky하늘에 그린 그림. The CD features four original compositions including the title track and lyrics she wrote to Charlie Haden’s “Bohm So Ri” and Bill Evans’ “An Eliptical Note,” staking her claim on these artist’s compositions. She illuminates two lesser-known songs by Sting and Stevie Wonder with “Valparaiso” and “Visions,” in addition to taking on “Pra Dizer Adeus,” by Edu Lobo/Torquato Neto. She closes the recording with a poignant version of the Korean children’s song, “By the Sea.” Artist John McNeil co-produced the project....
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Seung-Hee By Mark F. Turner[All About Jazz] With a voice that is a lovely as a songbird coupled with exquisiteness, singer Seung-Hee's Waiting is a refreshing jazz vocal debut. Born in Seoul, South Korea, the composer/singer lives and performs in New York City, where her craft is a product of her academic studies in Seoul and Berklee College of Music in Boston, and varied artistic experiences. The set is informed of both classical music and jazz improvisation, with Seung-Hee presenting five originals, two written by band member/saxophonist Stephan Kammerer and three covers. These elements come together exceptionally well as on the title track, where the singer's voice is a finely tuned instrument, singing a stunning wordless melody followed by verses in Korean, as her quintet performs sumptuous music. It's the arrangement of Irving Berlin's “How Deep is the Ocean” that further proves this band. The unwavering classic lifts with an emphatic voice/sax harmony, then soars higher with Pete Rende's classical pianism and the stalwart rhythm front of bassist Kevin Thomas and drummer Ronen Itzik ; a rousing blend of chamber and swing. ”No One” dances with ease from bop to ballad, then back again, with Seung-Hee scatting like Ella Fitzgerald whereas the sublime version of Stevie Wonder's“Blame It On The Sun” is an unique escape; Thomas' powerful arco provides the perfect accompaniment to Seung-Hee's diamond atonal lyricism which exudes emotion. More escapades include the romantic “So In Love,” which employ Rende's gossamer pump organ in a poignant song that might suggest traveling on the French Riviera. If the grooviest joint is “The Unknown” with Itzik's awe-inspiring traps, sweet sax work, and the songstress in her native tongue, then the prettiest is ”Afternoon” because of its gentle flow and a very lovely piano spot. Seung-Hee's voice is the center, in delicate control, never overshadowing and completely unselfish, in the caliber of singers such as Cassandra Wilson.

This is a rewarding release from a promising new voice that deserves recognition. Track Listing:Waiting; How Deep Is the Ocean; Snow Day; No One; Blame It On the Sun; So in Love; The Unknown; Afternoon; Fly Away; The Place We All Start. Personnel: Seunh-Hee: vocals; Stephan Kammerer: saxophone; Kevin Thomas: bass; Ronen Itzik: drums. Pete Rende: piano, pump organ.

WAITING by George Harris[All About Jazz] Seung-Hee is a vocalist who is actually doing something original with jazz. Korean born and New York based, Seung-Hee has released 'Waiting', a collection of original compositions that mix post-bop jazz with home grown melodies and harmonies. What is more, she takes some American tunes and adds a dash of Asian spice to them, bringing out new flavors and scents. Seung-Hee's voice has a Luciana Souza earthiness to it, such as on the yearning title track that features her wordless vocals. More intriguing still is the way she creates multiple layers of vocals that stagger in and out of sync on tunes like 'No One' and 'Fly Away'. Her voice ricochets off the snapping bop beat like light bouncing off of a prism. She uses her native language to aural effect on the brooding 'Snow Day', while her take of Stevie Wonder's 'Blame it on the Sun' features her in a duet with bassist Kevin Thomas that has folk nuances, like gentle shades allowing sun to gleam through. Seung-Hee's take of 'How Deep is the Ocean' has fascinatingly complex rhythm patterns that contrast with her laid back vocals, mixing the two together like an exotic hot and sweet sauce. Completely original, yet alarmingly accessible, Seung-Hee is a singer to look for. Her 'Waiting' is worth the effort.

Waiting - 2008

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