Dabin Ryu is reviewed by Jazz & Blues Magazine with “Wall”

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Dabin Ryu - Wall CD Cover
Born in South Korea, pianist-composer Dabin Ryu initially studied classical piano before becoming interested in jazz and other contemporary forms of music. She studied at Berklee and more recently at the Manhattan School of Music, and studied with Ralph Peterson, Joanne Brackeen, Francesca Tanksley, Kendrick Scott, Buster Williams, Neal Smith, Ted Rosenthal, and Phil
Markowitz. In addition to leading her own groups and touring internationally, Ryu has performed with such artists as Neal Smith, Rodney Jones, Kurt Elling, and Carl Allen. “The Wall” is her debut recording as a leader with ten original compositions that she also has arranged and produced.

On this recording, Ryu is joined by Fernando Ferrarone
on trumpet, Jack Kotze on trombone, Nathan
See on alto saxophone; Zoe Obadia on alto saxophone,
Boyce Griffith on tenor saxophone, Jarod Apple on
baritone saxophone, Kevin Scollins on guitar, Benjamin
Young on bass, Willis Edmundson on drums, and
Anthony Marsden on voice. There is shifting personnel
on the selections ranging from solo piano and voicepiano
duets to quartet, quintet, sextet, and nonet group
configurations. These different configurations allow
for a variety of moods and musical settings, including
primarily composed tracks to hard bop swingers.
The variety in musical settings provides considerable
enjoyment starting with “The Light.” This opening
number features the nonet that showcases short solos
with saxophonists Griffith and Obadia as well as from
the leader herself. Also, one is struck by her handsome
arrangements. Guitarist Scollins is at the fore
on “I’ll Never Know,” His probing playing contrasts
with Ryu’s thoughtfully shaped solo. Then there is the
hard bop flavored “Temple Run,” with saxophonists
See and Griffith and the bright trumpet of Ferrarone
on a performance suggestive of the Jazz Messengers.
The title track is in two parts. The first part is a
duet between Anthony Marsden’s vocalizing and Ryu’s
responsive piano. The second part is a sextet with
sax, trumpet, and guitar that provides a stormy voice
against Ryu’s piano. The introspective “Stillborn,”
performed solo, is a gorgeous composition and performance.
Almost as stunning is the piano trio “Taxi
Driver,” where Young and Edmundson complement her
touch and are playing on a melody that hints at the
television show’s theme, “Taxi.”

Several selections incorporate world rhythms, most
notably the African high life groove of the exuberant
closing “We Will Meet Again,” with sparkling piano and
the two alto saxophonists riffing as she lays down the
melody followed by some spirited soloing. It is a jubilant
coda to an impressive absorbing, and entertaining

Kari Gaffney

Kari Gaffney

Since 1988 Kari-On Productions has helped artists get an even footing in the industry through jazz promotion in the genres of Jazz, World & Latin Jazz through Jazz Radio and Publicity. Why do we do both, because they compliment each other, and we care about fiscal longevity for the artist.

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