NYC JAZZ RECORD
by Tom Greenland
Still in her 20s, Korean pianist Dabin Ryu has trained for two decades in classical and jazz. Wall symbolizes (she writes) the fear an artist must overcome to “fully express” herself. One listen to this impressive debut, which she composed, arranged and produced, leaves no doubt that she scaled that “wall”, fully expressing herself with animation and finesse in myriad styles and formats. On “Stillborn” we hear her pensive, intelligent soliloquy; on the title track (Pt. I) she duets with vocalist Anthony Marsden, comping in a contemporary classical vein; on “Taxi Driver” (with bassist Benjamin Young and drummer Willis Edmundson) she stretches out in a progressive R&B style; on the title track (Pt. II) and “Suspicion” her two-alto quartet (with Nathan See and Zoe Obadia) navigates quirky but catchy phrases with pinpoint accuracy; and on “The Light”, arranged for nonet, she evokes a big(ger) band sound through clever, spot-on arranging.