STAN KILLIAN, EVOKE



It’s easy to lean on hyperbole to describe saxophonist Stan Killian, a musician with a keen ear whose originality and strength as a leader is evident throughout Evoke (Sunnyside,) his fourth release of self-penned material. You can trace Killian’s sound back to the glory days of 1960’s Blue Note and the exuberant records by Sonny Rollins and Dexter Gordon that must have made an impact on the saxophonist. We know from his bio that Killian grew up in a jazz household -- his father, jazz pianist Joe Killian took his son to his many gigs and later played on his first recordings.

A breakout on the NY jazz club scene, Killian retains the sleek rhythm team of Venezuelan pianist Benito Gonzalez, bassist Corcoran Holt and drummer McClenty Hunter that made his 2011 effort Unified so gratifying. Killian adds VIP jazz guitarist Mike Moreno to the line-up and as a band, they make a formidable quintet that fuels this dazzling – and swinging - post bop collection of seven tunes with the perfect amount of go power. The tunes themselves (there’s not a weak track in the bunch) are progressive yet earthy, and Killian promotes eager interplay between his band mates, especially Moreno and Gonzalez whose tasty licks and chord changes respectively yield some of the album’s best moments. For a song named after the gentle bear of a bar tender at 55 Bar in New York’s West Village, the Tyner-inspired runs by Gonzalez on “Kirby” flow with good feeling, a sentiment that runs throughout Killian’s work.


As a player, Killian sounds destined to join the ranks of jazz greats, but you don’t need to be a jazz critic to appreciate how good Killian is.  When I reviewed Unified, I called Killian “a force to reckon with,” and the music and playing on this current collection continues to show that Killian is a saxophonist and composer who’s going places. (7 tracks; 42 minutes)

Killian has a good number of videos on his You Tube channel here. There's more material on his excellent website as well.

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JAZZ IN SPACE: STAN KILLIAN, EVOKE

Sunday, June 2, 2013

STAN KILLIAN, EVOKE



It’s easy to lean on hyperbole to describe saxophonist Stan Killian, a musician with a keen ear whose originality and strength as a leader is evident throughout Evoke (Sunnyside,) his fourth release of self-penned material. You can trace Killian’s sound back to the glory days of 1960’s Blue Note and the exuberant records by Sonny Rollins and Dexter Gordon that must have made an impact on the saxophonist. We know from his bio that Killian grew up in a jazz household -- his father, jazz pianist Joe Killian took his son to his many gigs and later played on his first recordings.

A breakout on the NY jazz club scene, Killian retains the sleek rhythm team of Venezuelan pianist Benito Gonzalez, bassist Corcoran Holt and drummer McClenty Hunter that made his 2011 effort Unified so gratifying. Killian adds VIP jazz guitarist Mike Moreno to the line-up and as a band, they make a formidable quintet that fuels this dazzling – and swinging - post bop collection of seven tunes with the perfect amount of go power. The tunes themselves (there’s not a weak track in the bunch) are progressive yet earthy, and Killian promotes eager interplay between his band mates, especially Moreno and Gonzalez whose tasty licks and chord changes respectively yield some of the album’s best moments. For a song named after the gentle bear of a bar tender at 55 Bar in New York’s West Village, the Tyner-inspired runs by Gonzalez on “Kirby” flow with good feeling, a sentiment that runs throughout Killian’s work.


As a player, Killian sounds destined to join the ranks of jazz greats, but you don’t need to be a jazz critic to appreciate how good Killian is.  When I reviewed Unified, I called Killian “a force to reckon with,” and the music and playing on this current collection continues to show that Killian is a saxophonist and composer who’s going places. (7 tracks; 42 minutes)

Killian has a good number of videos on his You Tube channel here. There's more material on his excellent website as well.

Labels: , , , ,

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