On Thursday, October 23rd, vocalist Yoon Sun Choi and pianist Jacob Sacks will celebrate the release of Imagination: The Music of Joe Raposo
(Yeah Yeah Records), their second and most recent recording together, with a free performance (featuring special guests, bassist David Ambrosio and drummer Vinnie Sperrazza) at the Ida K. Lang Recital Hall
at Manhattan's Hunter College. This innovative release finds the eight year-old jazz duo
reinventing both the familiar and the more obscure music of the prolific theater, film and television composer, Joe Raposo
(1937-1989). Nearly 30 years after first hearing his music as children, Choi and Sacks respectfully transform the inspiring lyrics and beautiful melodies of Raposo's timeless songs into creative experiments in texture, form and improvisation.
Critics have called Imagination one of the best jazz vocal CDs of the year" (Ted Gioia, Jazz.com) and a sophisticated reworking of the memorable melodies and lyrics that many of us first heard on children's shows like The Electric Company and Sesame Street...leaving us with grown-up versions of the songs that inspired our childhood dreams" (Suzanne Lorge, All About Jazz). The most striking track on the album is 'Bein' Green'," adds The Wire's Philip Clark. Choi's deadpan delivery of the whimsical lyric is underpinned by a dense carpet of chromatic harmony, and the tune inhabits unexpectedly disturbing dimensions as the dislocation between voice and piano symbolises a profound sense of isolation."
The Choi/Sacks Duo has been playing Raposo's music in earnest since late 2003, including performances at clubs all around their home base of New York City and Ms. Choi's home province of Ontario, Canada. What Choi and Sacks give to his music," explains the All Music Guide's Michael G. Nastos, is a challenging edge that harkens back to both the bop tradition and the exploratory nature of modern creative expressionism. Choi's pretty voice is as flexible an instrument as you might hear in contemporary jazz...easily able to scat, contort phrases, or offer witty repartee. Sacks is a different kind of piano accompanist, part Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner and Misha Mengelberg."
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