Monday, March 11, 2013

Sunny Kim, Painter's Eye

Captivated by the Korean nature poet-painter Sun Doo Kim, vocalist Sunny Kim set about making an album inspired by his work. She translated half the poems into English, the rest she left in their original Korean. These formed the lyrics for the set of pieces. Then she composed and arranged music for the lyrics and gathered together an auspicious group for the album. It's called Painter's Eye (Sunnyside 1333).

Sunny handles the vocals in a very lyrical, musical way. Then there is Chris Speed on clarinet and alto, Ben Monder on guitar, Angelica Sanchez on piano, Sean Conly on acoustic bass and either Richie Barshay or Pheeroan Aklaff on drums.

It's not something ordinary. It's rhapsodic, folkish, post-ECM-ish and at times very much a songbird with some beautiful accompaniment thing. There are improvisational moments, including some very ravishing Angelica Sanchez piano, and very nice Chris Speed clarinet and alto, but it is Sunny's presentation first and foremost.

And it is not exactly like anything out there. It's at times spacey (thanks to some nicely worked out guitar and key effects) and vitally unexpected.

Perfect for the spring season? Yes. Or otherwise too.

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