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Sun-Mi Hong, 'Care Less'

There's much to be said for the ability of savvy jazz players to make odd time signatures truly swing. "Care Less," the opening cut from drummer Sun-Mi Hong's third release, Third Page: Resonance, upgrades the tradition of syncopated, meter-splitting contemporary jazz. From its opening to closure, the nine-minute piece demands that the listener adjust their own rhythms to its merger of improv and outer-realm jazz composition. Prodded into form by Hong's restless percussive rattles and double bassist Alessandro Fongaro manifesting and unraveling an apprehensive motif, the frontline of the quintet (trumpeter Alistair Payne, tenor saxophonist Nicolò Ricci and pianist Chaerin Im) soon join and morph "Care Less" into a mirage of stop/start, flickering energy. But they never lose forward motion, meeting to touch home base with the song's main refrain: a seven-note chromatic ascent. Heady stuff from this young-yet-perceptive Netherlands-based quintet.

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