The saxophone powerhouse Jordan VanHemert returns with Rodney Whitaker on bass and David Alvarez III behind the drum kit for a listen that celebrates Korean culture via their exciting jazz formula, and there's plenty of guests in attendance, too.
"Bird, Bird, Bluebird" starts the listen with VanHemet's warm sax before frisky drumming and playful bass enters the stylish jazz climate, and "Imjin River Song" follows with the rhythm section interacting with a bit of mystery as VanHemert's soulful sax guides a very fluid atmosphere.
In the middle, "Half Moon" welcomes Sharon Cho's gorgeous pipes alongside Lisa Sung's piano, Nathan Borton's guitar, John Webber's bass and Max Cooley III's drums into the precisely textured affair, while "Doraji Taryeong" glows in its timeless melody and rich jazz ideas.
Arriving near the end, the vocal version of "Arirang Alone" brings Cho's expressive pipes back, as well as Sung's agile keys, and this time Jeff Shoup handles drums amid the dreamy demeanor, and the instrumental version of "Half Moon" exits the listen with the strong bass playing, proficient brass and brushed drumming illuminating the groove filled finish.
VanHemert's last work, 2021's I Am Not A Virus
, tackled anti-Asian hate crimes and prejudice, whereas this outing has him dissecting the Asian American experience with a meticulous attention to detail. An artist with an eclectic and creative vision, VanHemert again captivates and enlightens us.