"Jihee Heo has done for me that rare and beautiful thing I value and cherish most about incredible music, she has inspired me."
Raised in South Korea, pianist-composer Jihee Heo studied in Amsterdam before receiving her Masters from the Manhattan School of Music in 2013. Now with a decade ensconced in New York's music scene, Jihee found inspiration for producing this album of alternately pastoral and grooving trio music through Robert Henry's classic treatise for artists, "Art Spirit." Reciting passages in the opening track, "Are You Ready?," the sense of offering a vision into her musical process and deep involvement with 'the moment' informs the 8 artfully melodic original compositions. Along with the wide-ranging talents of drummer Rodney Green, who also co-produces, and bassist Marty Kenney, rapper Saidu Ezike voices Jihee's ambivalence toward her New York experience on "Trust," followed by what could be considered a love note to the city on the instrumental "Oh, New York."
1. Are You Ready? 3:28
2. Blurring the Blues 5:26
3. Dancing in the Sorrow 3:39
4. Dark and Light 4:31
5. Streams in the Desert 5:19
6. Trust 3:36
7. Oh, New York 5:17
8. Letter to a Little Girl 3:34
Jihee Heo - Piano, voice (1)
Marty Kenney - Bass
Rodney Green - Drums
Saidu Ezike - Rapper (6)
Produced by Jihee Heo, Rodney Green
Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by Mike Marciano
at Samurai Hotel Recording Studio, Astoria, NY
Recorded March 3, 2020
Photos by Drew Reynolds
Cover Design & Layout by John Bishop
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
Moving the art of the piano trio forward, Heo has a great touch and feel for the keys and knows just how to put it all together in a non stop show of effervescence that never loses it's fizz. Mixing looks forward with looks over her shoulder, this restlessly creative spirit isn't happy unless she's really opening your ears and she hits that nail o ...
All About Jazz (Paul Rauch)
4 STARS Since arriving in New York from Incheon, South Korea, via studies in Amsterdam, pianist/composer Jihee Heo has made a name for herself through a broad spectrum on the jazz scene in Gotham. Heo's debut album, Passion (Heonah Music, 2015), featured strong compositions and arrangements for large ensemble, with experimental elements sprinkled ...
Downbeat (Michael J. West)
3 1/2 STARS Pianist Jihee Heo has a beautiful legato touch that builds on sturdy lyricism and lustrous harmonies—but her work also is filled with delicate, detailed figures. That alone would be enough to carry a recording, but the fine Are You Ready? reinforces it with two more extraordinary elements. First, her compositional voice—she wrote a ...
Jazz Weekly (George W Harris)
Pianist and erstwhile vocalist Jihee Heo leads a trio of originals with bassist Marty Kenney and drummer Rodney Green on this album that mixes many a style. She gives a spoken intro to the post bopping title track, and allows Saidu Ezike a chance to rap through Green's backbeat of the R&Bish Trust". Her touch is highlighted on her lovely solo track ...
The Answer is in the Beat, WCBN (Paul Simpson)
South Korean pianist/composer Jihee Heo's new album is a brisk yet refined set of eight compositions charting the progress she's made so far as an artist. A graduate from the Manhattan School of Music, she's been a part of the NYC music scene for a decade. After considering making this album for a while, she finally took the plunge after re-reading ...
CirdecSongs (Cedric Hendrix)
Korean-raised pianist Jihee Heo possesses a deft touch not unlike Herbie Hancock. The compositions on Are You Ready (OA2 Records) reflect her music education, which took place in Amsterdam and New York City. Traditional jazz sounds that occasionally embrace elements of hip-hop keep listeners just a bit off-balance, which is the best place to find a ...
MM Jazz (Korea) (Byungseon Yoon)
Jihee Heo, a pianist who has been working in Korea after studying in Amsterdam and is currently working in New York, released a new album Are You Ready? on the OA2 label based in Seattle at the end of last year. In fact, for this writer who did not have a chance to see her debut album Passion, this work released on OA2 was quite attractive enough t ...