by Russell Trunk
|Title – ‘Wall’
Artist – Dabin Ryu
For those unaware, Dabin Ryu is an award-winning jazz pianist from Seoul, South Korea. Dabin’s musical journey started at age 3 with classical piano.
Eventually, Dabin became interested in jazz and contemporary styles of music, which she is now known for. After high school, Dabin attended Berklee College of Music, majoring in Jazz Performance and Jazz Composition, ultimately graduating in 2018.
She then continued her education at Manhattan School of Music, graduating with a master’s degree in Jazz Studies. As a student, Dabin was fortunate to study with Ralph Peterson, Joanne Brackeen, Francesca Tanksley, Kendrick Scott, Buster Williams, Neal Smith, Ted Rosenthal, and Phil Markowitz.
Dabin Ryu’s debut album Wall (out now and on which she produced, composed, and arranged the entire project), features ten original compositions entirely composed, arranged, and produced by the pianist.
The compositions settle within the jazz tradition yet refuse the conventional instrumentations of a classic jazz album.
In this album, she captures the traces her life-long practice of music has left on her.
1. ‘The Light’ (4:59)
Opening on the jazzly scattered, yet always orchestrated and refined ‘The Light’ and the absolutely mesmerizingly organic and yet cultured opus ‘I’ll Never Know,’ next up is the upbeat, hard bop jazz, finger-snappin’ and trumpet-led (courtesy of Fernando Ferrarone) ‘Temple Run,’ and then come the title track pairing; which were written out entirely, abandoning the tradition of improvisation, exploring the intentionality and structure of a through-written composition: the hauntingly ethereal ‘Wall (Pt. 1)’ (featuring vocals from Anthony Marsden), and then we get its more playful bookend ‘Wall (Pt. 2).’
Then we get the magnificent gentle hipsway of the Saxophone-induced ‘Moon’ (courtesy of Nathan See on Alto and Boyce Griffith on Tenor), which is itself followed by the dulcet, stand alone piano of ‘Stillborn,’ the freewheeling, saxophone energy of ‘Suspicion’ (courtesy this time of Alto work from both Nathan See and Zoe Obadia), with the album coming to a close on the decidedly mellow, late night club tones of ‘Taxi Driver’ and the saxophone (See and Obadia) and drum-led (courtesy of Willis Edmundson) ‘We Will Meet Again.’
Players & Instruments:
Throughout her career, Dabin has had the pleasure to perform with world-renowned artists such as Neal Smith, Rodney Jones, Kurt Elling, and Carl Allen, among others. Dabin’s performances have taken here worldwide. Performing at venues such as Smalls Jazz Club, Zinc Bar, Dizzy’s Club, Scullers, Harlem Stage, Berklee Performance Center, Williamsburg Music Center, CJ Azit, and many others.
Dabin is also an accomplished bandleader and composer. She has led international tours, most notably with the Dabin Ryu Quintet in 2019 in Seoul, South Korea.