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Friday, March 4, 2022

Alistair Payne & Sun-Mi Hong - Slow Walk - IN-人 (Self, 2021)

By Stef Gijssels

It's always nice to welcome new talent to the free improvisation scene. Last year we reviewed the young Portuguese band "Garfo" for their debut album, and we admired the musicianship of Polish pianist Marta Warelis in various ensembles. 

Today we can add South Korean drummer Sun-Mi Hong to the list, together with British trumpeter Alistair Payne. Both have been playing together in various ensembles and various genres (Mexican folk-jazz with "Fuensanta Méndez", the modern jazz of the Sun-Mi Hong Quintet, ...). 

On "Slow Walk", both musicians ended up on the same shore during the pandemic, and because of a lack of concerts, they performed and recorded this impromptu duet between trumpet and drums. The music is gentle, welcoming, warm while at the same time as free and playful as birds in spring. Every note they play is fresh, rich and unexpected. Their main purpose is not timbral exploration as much as the exploring the musical interaction between two like-minded spirits. This results in music that shifts from the lyrical - and romantic even - to full free form. 

The technical skills of both musicians is strong, and their control remarkable. "Slow Walk" shows a lot of promise, and even it's possibly not the most memorable of all trumpet-drum duos, I hope they can push this concept of authentic and inventive simplicity a step further. 

Listen and download from Bandcamp


Ken Blanchard said...

This is lovely and hits the spot today. Ordered it while Bandcamp Friday was still on.