Joo Yeon Sir: Chaconnes, Divertimento & Rhapsodies

Hearing Joo Yeon Sir’s barnstorming performance of Pancho Vladigerov’s Bulgarian Rhapsody “Vardar” at St James’s Piccadilly with Irina Andrievsky in August made me want to return to her recently-released second CD, Chaconnes, Divertimento & Rhapsodies, for which Vardar is the penultimate track. The album, from Rubicon Classics, follows on from her successful first album Suites and […]

Gig review: Kyungso Park, SB Circle + Hey String

Isn’t it refreshing when a band exceeds expectations? When you were expecting something pretty good, and you get something astoundingly good. When the newbie support band has the class to headline their own gig. OK, to call the gayageum trio Hey String a newbie band neglects to mention their success as prizewinners in Seoul Namsan […]

Gig review: Kim Doo Soo at Cafe OTO

Kim Doo Soo’s stage set-up is simple but carefully planned. The stage hand has marked out the precise place where the music stand is to be positioned, and the chair – which offers the minimum of comforts. A table to the musician’s right has some water and a surface to keep the various harmonicas; also […]

Brief review: Park Jiha at Rich Mix

Park Jiha closed K-music 2017 supported by a trio of musicians (playing bass, sax and vibes). She returned to London this year as a solo performer, presenting material from her new album, Philos, as well as older material. We also got one premiere. Park plays yanggeum (dulcimer), piri (oboe) and saenghwang (mouth organ), and when […]

Live music review: SaaWee at the Albany, Deptford

When anticipating Korea related events involving live performance, I generally try not to raise my expectations too high. That way, I don’t get disappointed. But sometimes I break that rule, usually based on past experience of one or more of the performers. Hence, when pulling together the events post for July I highlighted three events […]

Moon Haewon releases second album

Jazz singer Vocalist Moon released her second album Tenderly last week. Recorded in Japan with an all-Japanese jazz ensemble, it’s very much a sister piece to her superb first album, Kiss Me. This release, available on CD only in Japan and Hong Kong, is another collection of inspired jazz and pop covers. Moon’s seemingly effortless […]

Brief review: Seong-jin Cho’s Rachmaninov at the Barbican

I can’t help feeling slightly disappointed at Seong-jin Cho’s performance of Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto at the Barbican at the end of March. There was no shortage of virtuoso filligree fingerwork and moments of poetry, but somehow the performance as a whole lacked passion and fire. Perhaps part of the problem was rapport between orchestra […]