Yoon Sun Choi: Somebody Come and Play


Somebody Come and Play


Yoon Sun Choi (vocals)


Imagination: The Music of Joe Raposo (Yeah-Yeah 0005)

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Yoon Sun Choi (vocals), Jacob Sacks (piano).

Composed by Joe Raposo


Recorded: No info given (CD released in 2008)


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

A tribute album to songwriter Joe Raposo? If you don't recognize the name, you might be familiar with the music. And if you don't know the music . . . well you're what my young sons would call a geezer. The late Raposo (1937-1989) is the songwriter whose compositions graced Sesame Street, Electric Company and other TV shows -- especially programs (to borrow the appropriate jargon) targeted at the youngest demographic. But these songs are not for kids. At least not the way Yoon Sun Choi sings them. There is an invigorating experimental zeal that permeates this entire CD, and especially this opening track.

But maybe I spoke too fast. A certain child-like playfulness can be heard here, and the vocalist's clever reworking of this song is very much a testimony to the philosophy articulated in the its name. Somebody is coming to play here: the two artists in the recording studio. Indeed, I wish more singers would take chances like this, or bring along a pianist who, like Sacks, is such a daring accompanist. These two really go at it. I can't recall the last time I heard a vocal recording in which the pianist challenged the singer so aggressively -- and with such felicitous results.

You should also come out and play . . . play this CD, I mean. This small label release is one you might easily miss. But that would be a shame. This is one of the best jazz vocal CDs of the year.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia


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