With Project-K, Jim Snidero breaks new ground. Absorbing and refracting varied aspects of Korean folkways, he delves into a topic near and dear to his home and heart. “Having a Korean wife, family and friends, I’ve been immersed in Korean culture for more than 20 years,” he shares. “Between Korean history, culture and philosophy, I felt that there was much to explore musically.” Bridging his own wide-ranging aesthetic with those very traditions, Snidero turns out one of the most distinctive dates of his career.
In choosing the personnel to flesh out this music, Snidero’s decisions proved shrewd and sound. The rhythm section, comprised of pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Linda May Han Oh and drummer Rudy Royston, brings a rare balance of sensitivity, strength and insight to these ventures. And trumpeter Dave Douglas serves as the perfect front line foil for the saxophonist. “I wanted to use a traditional Korean instrument on Project-K and the gayageum appealed to me the most. My goal was to fully integrate the instrument within some of the arrangements,” says Snidero, and Do Yeon Kim was the natural choice. As a group, we were all able to create what I believe is both unique and inspired music.”