Injecting funk and classical into jazz

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Injecting funk and classical into jazz

February's string of excellent jazz shows continues. This week, two more performances worth catching:


Lee Oskar and Manhattan Transfer

Saturday at 8 p.m., Seoul Arts Center

Lee Oskar, a founding member of the U.S.-based funk/jazz group War, has dazzled concertgoers for decades with his improvisational skills on the harmonica.

Mr. Oskar's harmonica and Charles Miller's saxophone created the sound signature sound for War, which was founded in 1969. In addition to playing the harmonica, he has worked to improve the instrument, introducing the Lee Oskar Harmonica in 1983.

Mr. Oskar has performed with Lee Hyun-woo, Cho Gwan-woo and 015B during his four visits to the peninsula. His latest album, to be released here next month, brings together new songs and old favorites. For local audiences, it will include songs like "Tango in Seoul" and "Song of Seoul."

Tickets are 45,000 to 85,000 won ($38-$75) at the site www.ticketlink.co.kr, or call Bigwon at (02) 2187-5656.

Jim Hall Trio

Sunday, 4 p.m. Seoul Arts Center

With a musical career spanning more than five decades, Jim Hall is considered one of the world's great jazz guitarists. He has performed with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny Rollins and Bill Evans. In 1997, he won the New York Jazz Critics Circle Award for best jazz composer/arranger. He has recently been concentrating on orchestral and choral compositions and arrangements.

His reputation as a modest man has led to his being dubbed "the Quiet American" in Britain. His music, too, is subtle and warm, with rich tones. Mr. Hall, 72, says his music has changed over the years, "and I hope it continues to change ?not because you want to throw away your values, but because you want to keep growing all the time.

Lee Hee-jun, who works for event organizer Jazzbiz, says that he wishes his company had brought Mr. Hall to Korea sooner since Mr. Hall's touring schedule is limited.

Mr. Hall will be performing with Terry Clarke on drums and Don Thompson on bass and piano. Tickets are 40,000 to 90,000 won, and available through Jazzbiz at (02) 323-7532 or on the Web at www.ticketpark.com.


by Joe Yong-hee

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