John Nam

Energy and Angular Momentum

John Nam was born on June 8, 1979 in Seoul, Korea. He moved to Roslyn, New York in December 1993, not knowing where his life was headed. When John first came to the United States he struggled with the language barrier and culture shock. But he overcame these difficulties through serious study of piano and love of music. In May 2002 John received his undergraduate degree in music from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and in May 2004 he earned his Master's degree in Jazz Improvisation from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. For the past few years John has studied with several gifted jazz pianists such as Ellen Rowe, Tad Weed, Molly MacMillan and Garry Dial. Since he moved to Ann Arbor in the summer of 2002, John has had the privilege of performing with some of Michigan's finest jazz bands including the Paul Keller Orchestra, the Diego Rivera Quartet, the Jeremy Kittel Quartet, Urban Transport, Tumbao and Vincent York's Young New York Force. John looks forward to a long career of playing jazz.

Energy and Angular Momentum is the title track of the CD. I wanted to write an energetic theme with interesting and angular intervals. The beginning section alternates between 4/4 meter and 3/4 meter.

Kong Neptune is a lively swinger by the legendary saxophonist Dexter Gordon.

A Retrograde Journey goes back to my undergraduate days at Cornell University. I wrote this tune while studying 20th century classical theory that involved altering melodies in obscure ways. The original main theme is inverted at the
end of the tune.

The Good Life is one of my favorite standard ballads by jazz singer and composer Sacha Distel.
D Minor Mint is a composition by jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard. This a high energy modern swinger that we had fun with.

10:04 A.M. is a modal tune written in 10/4 meter for a class project at the University of Michigan. It always takes me a long time to write a new tune. I pulled an “all-nighter” when I composed this tune and I finished around 10 a.m. What’s different
about this tune is that the main melody comes only at the end of the piece.

Space is a ballad that turns into a groove. It features violin and bass solos. This tune is sparsely composed as I wanted to have some “space” in my music.

Anticipation is a tune by Diego Rivera that I used to play a lot with Diego, Andrew Klein and Lawrence Leathers at Harper’s, a club in East Lansing, Michigan.

For Andrew is a tune is dedicated to the bassist that I play the most with: Andrew Kratzat. This tune has some harmonic qualities that Andrew likes.

Tetragon is composed by the great saxophonist Joe Hederson. This is a unusual sounding tune that turns into a straight-ahead, swinging blues.