Review: Jenny Choi

Jenny Choi
“Postcard Stories”
(Double Zero/Suburban Home)

She sounds like Tori Amos and looks like Lucy Liu.  OK, I made up the Lucy Liu part but her music is so pretty that I did a quick Google search and I can say that she is quite pretty (not that that makes me like her any more [yeah, right]).  At least the Tori Amos part is legit, if you substitute some of Tori’s world-weariness with deer-in-the-headlight innocence.  A very accomplished musician, Choi croons her neo-jazz cocktail vignettes over lilting piano bars and the soft warmth of her cello.  She is not alone in her act, as Tony Aronica’s soft bass and Phillip Stone’s moderated percussion accompany her sweeping, soulful sentiments.  Sometimes evoking a bit of Billie Holiday with her moody hooks and atmospheric, smoky ambiance, Choi’s “Postcard Stories” is the perfect album for everything from a sweaty summer’s night make-out session to a rainy day wine and cheese party (after you’ve already gone through The Cardigan’s “First Band on the Moon”, of course).  There’s an openly honest introspection packed into the beguilingly simple music, causing Choi’s sweepingly contagious tales to seep into every note of every track.  It’s not often that you come across a singer/songwriter with enough talent to carry a release on sheer magnetism, but Jenny Choi is undeniably one of them.