Pianist/Composer Connie Han Continues
to Rise as a Powerful New Voice in the Modern Jazz Landscape
Iron Starlet, Out June 12 via Mack Avenue Records,
Features Dark-Tinged, Edgy & Elegantly Swinging Compositions
UPDATE MARCH 27th: Street release updated to June 12th, 2020
With the release of her 2018 Mack Avenue Music Group debut, Crime Zone, pianist/keyboardist Connie Han seized the attention of the jazz world and firmly established herself as a fast-rising star on the scene. That stratospheric ascent continues on her captivating follow-up, Iron Starlet, due out June 12, 2020.
As the title makes vividly clear, Han’s career may be in the early stages of what promises to be a vertiginous climb, but the 23-year old is no wide-eyed aspirant, timidly searching for her place in the crowded jazz landscape. One listen to Iron Starlet is ample evidence that she’s every bit an armor-clad talent as the name implies. Her powerful vision takes in the full evolution of her forebearers, from iconic innovators like McCoy Tyner and Hank Jones through the Young Lion revolution spearheaded by the Marsalis Brothers, Kenny Kirkland and Jeff “Tain” Watts, among others.
“The intention of this music is to continue a legacy of tough, primal, raw but still intellectually engaging straight-ahead jazz,” Han declares. “I am an aspiring star in this music, but I am not a naïve, uncertain girl that people wrongly associate with that term.”
The toughness at the core of Iron Starlet is rooted in its rhythmic drive, anchored by the trio of Han, bassist Ivan Taylor and drummer/producer Bill Wysaske. They’re joined by the stellar frontline of saxophonist Walter Smith III (returning from Crime Zone) and trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, an ideal pairing to realize the compelling blend of sophistication and grit that Han imbues into every piece.
Han and Wysaske have had a fruitful partnership for years with the two sharing strong opinions on ways in which to carry forward the lessons of the past while crafting music that is wholly alive to the moment. Their keyboard-drum partnership establishes the muscular rhythmic spine of their music which is elevated through their producer-artist collaboration.
“We subscribe to a philosophy of music that is driven by complex and sophisticated rhythm,” Han explains. “The rhythm isn’t hard just to be hard; it all comes from a place of pure human instinct.”
When discussing her new album, Connie Han is unafraid of using the word “tradition,” secure in the fact that she’s not a throwback but a fresh voice inheriting a legacy of powerful voices and raw power expressed through jazz. “This band can go from the blues to the esoteric,” she says. “But we always strive to bring out the darkness, grit and depth in this music as much as possible. Those are the elements that we’re inspired by and the values that we hold quite dear.”
Photo Credit: Michael R Pool
Connie Han · Iron Starlet
Mack Avenue Records · Release Date: June 12, 2020
For more information on Connie Han, please visit: ConnieHan.com
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