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Jeong, Eunhye: Nolda (ESP Disk)

The title referring to the Korean word for "play" in a sense of transcending physical reality without abandoning it, pianist Eunhye Jeong, aka Chi-Da, presents a playful and free-flowing enjoyment in nine original compositions, revealing discerning experience and a nimble approach to her instrument as she explores a diverse range of moods through impressive technical skill.

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product information:

Includes a 16-page color booklet with images, credits, and liner notes in English and Korean from Jeong, and from Felipe Freitas

UPC: 825481506823

Label: ESP Disk
Catalog ID: ESPDISK 5068CD
Squidco Product Code: 31049

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Tray in wrap-around box
Recorded at Futura Productions, in Roslinde, MA, on January 8th, 20921, by Travis Karpak.


Eunhye Jeong-piano

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Artist Biographies:

"Pianist/composer Eunhye Jeong is a creative musician with a critical mind that keeps expanding her musical world with diligent research. She has performed with legendary Wadada Leo Smith, a multiple awards-winner, a Pulitzer Prize nominee and an innovative composer/trumpeter as a pianist of NDA ensemble which performed one of most ECM's celebrted albums at the third CREATE Festival. She also performed duo with highly acclaimed cellist/improviser/composer Okkyung Lee and recorded with Pansori master Il-dong Bae. As a composer, she co-wrote the score for a short film "Ancestry" with Munyungo Jackson, the Stevie Wonder's percussionist. She also performed in a renowned places such as Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), UN Headquarter (NY), colleges such as Harvard University, Berklee College of Music, Boston College, etc.

Followed by her previous albums Turtle Suite (2014), Chi-Da (2018) and 2 Begets 3 (2018) that are each in a disparate musical language, she is soon releasing her fourth album , a live recording of her latest concert in Seoul, Korea. She currently performs two major projects Chi-Da and TVV Quartet and is working on a new piece that features visuals and electronics called KM-53.

In 2019, she was a panel in the colloquium hosted by the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI) in British Columbia University in Vancouver, Canada. She presented her talk , which encompasses the philosophical basis of Korean traditional music and of contemporary musical improvisation practice altogether.

Jeong continues to hold and develop her ongoing theme since 2011 that is to to revive the historical and cultural continuum severed both forcefully and voluntarily over time, through her musical practice."

-Eunhye Jeong Website (

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track listing:

1. Perspective Shifts 5:09

2. Strange Rocks 4:29

3. Blue Sun 7:15

4. Columnar Jointing 8:11

5. Rooted 5:34

6. Ultraviolet-Lightly Coated 6:43

7. Emerging Islands 6:24

8. Threading Stories 5:08

9. If I Were 4:55
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Korean pianist Eunhye Jeong is a game-changer. She's jazz from a different perspective. She's a pianist who doesn't sound like anyone else on the scene. In her liner notes for the release, Jeong writes, "I made my first solo piano recording under the name Chi-Da. Chi-Da and Nolda can both be translated as 'play.'

While Chi-Da refers to physical motions that produce sounds by crashing together two objects, Nolda is more associated with playful activities. One may interpret this word as a fun, free-flowing action on the piano. That is partly true, but I dare ask: who can have fun and experience true freedom without 'knowing thyself'? Nolda means transcending the physical reality without abandoning it at all, which is made of body, mind, and the world. We music creators are artists who work with invisible and intangible energy forms as ingredients to create. Nolda, in this sense, is the magic of music-making."-ESP-Disk

"Those who follow advanced Improv/Avant Jazz know that solo piano outings form an important genre within the style. Certainly Cecil Taylor made some of the greatest of all such albums, but then of course there are many others, many excellent ones.

With a new week, a new creative season upon us as I type these words, I accordingly turn to the very new. This morning it is Korean pianist Eunhye Jeong and her solo album Nolda (ESP-Disk ESP 5068). The title literally means "play," as in "playful activities" and most specifically for Jeong, "a fun, free-flowing action on the piano," as well as the "magic of music making." It is music meant to be heard on a musical as well as a psychological plane. Eunhye's first 20 years coming of age in South Korea is naturally a formative foundation for who she is as an artist today. In particular for this album the traditional painters of the mountainous landscapes of her homeland influence this music, as well as the many hikes she took into those mountains with her father.

Nolda embraces a brilliant inventiveness, a pianism that draws upon creatively open expression to cover a wide embrace of mountain-inspired feelings with no trace of the sort of cliches a lesser artist might rely upon to fill out the aural space. Eunhye Jeong is an original, a pianist with genuine creative thrust, with deeply exploratory expression. Take a listen to this and feel a new immediacy. I look forward to more from her. Meanwhile do not fail to hear this one."-Grego Applegate Edwards, Gapplegate

Includes a 16-page color booklet with images, credits, and liner notes in English and Korean from Jeong, and from Felipe Freitas

Get additional information at Gapplegate Music Review
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Asian Improvisation & Jazz
Piano & Keyboards
Solo Artist Recordings
New in Improvised Music

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