Project-K

“Jenga”

(Savant)

Saxophonist Jim Snidero finds inspiration in Korean culture and philosophy on his latest album, Project-K (Savant). Having been married to a Korean woman for more than 20 years, it’s natural that the California-born Snidero might be influenced by the ancient civilization. After recently visiting his in-laws in Seoul, he completed writing the song cycle that graces the new release; in fact, the recording begins and ends with the sound of a prayer bowl that Snidero picked up on his trip. The saxophonist also recruited Do Yeon Kim, who plays the gayageum, a traditional Korean stringed instrument, throughout the recording, melding seamlessly with the five-piece jazz band on a set comprising mostly Snidero compositions. The quintet, sans gayageum, showcases a silky straightahead synergy on the tune “Jenga,” as Snidero and trumpeter Dave Douglas play tight unisons on the frontline. Pianist Orrin Evans offers a rippling solo, supported by bassist Linda May Han Oh and drummer Rudy Royston, before handing the proceedings back to the horns, who trade with one another, and with Royston, for a swinging ensemble sound. In this case, Snidero reimagines a Korean song — written by K-Pop artist Matt Heize — as if it were a 52nd Street staple.

Purchase Album:

The Authoritative Voice in Jazz