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Jack Lee/Toninho Horta: From Belo to Seoul

With an airy atmospheric feel its main constant, From Belo to Seoul, an offering from guitarists Jack Lee and Toninho Horta, comes across much like a series of painted postcards: pleasant and sometimes dreamy, but without the artistic weight to leave a lasting impression. Many of the pieces here focus on texture and feel rather than structure: “Playtime,” for example, offers a lightly jumping fusion setting for Lee’s light-touch lead, while Horta adds acoustic balance. “Time Wanderer” provides a similarly gentle ensemble setting for the interplay of the Korean-born Lee and the Brazilian-born Horta. Cultural accents are not as present as you might expect, with “Vertenes” offering the album’s most pronounced Brazil walk (as well as Rachel Z’s sparkling piano solo). The album seems a bit disjointed, offering goofy lightweight pop on one end (“Far Into the Night”) and pristine, chops-bearing duets on the other (“Magnolia Blossom” provides a particularly effective showcase for these two talented players).

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