"Who says modern jazz practitioners can’t have some fun with some jazz history?"
Audiophile Audition gave Trio four stars. Read the original review by Doug Simpson here (full text below).
* * * * *
Kevin Sun – Trio – Endectomorph Music EMM-003, 71:47 [2/2/18] ****
June 27, 2018
Saxophonist and clarinetist Kevin Sun is a good example of moving beyond what one knows. On the one hand, Sun has spent considerable time and effort transcribing solos by John Coltrane, Steve Coleman, Hank Jones, Joe Henderson, Vijay Iyer and more. Nevertheless, Sun is much more than a replication instrumentalist. He understands the importance of tradition and studying master musicians but he does not rely on recreating what those artists have done. Instead Sun uses what he has learned to push his music forward and propel his creativity.
Throughout his debut as leader—the 72-minute, 14-track Trio—Sun displays his imaginative performance style, his compositional skills and his group improvisational perception. The Brooklyn-based Sun is also a member of the quartet Great on Paper and the chordless quartet Earprint. He studied composition with Miguel Zenón and John Hollenbeck, and cites Coleman, Iyer, Miles Okazaki, Henry Threadgill, Steve Lehman and Turner as influences. Supporting Sun is bassist Walter Stinson (see Adam O’Farrill and the Parker tribute ensemble Early Bird Jazz Band) and drummer Matt Honor (whose background includes the modern jazz collective Cowboys & Frenchmen).
"Sun continues to fulfill his promise as a monster sax player and gifted composer."
Trio is reviewed in the spring 2018 issue of Monarch Magazine. Full text below:
Young tenor saxophonist Kevin Sun impressed on the innovative jazz quartet releases Earprint and Great On Paper. In Trio, his debut as a leader, Sun continues to fulfill his promise as a monster sax player and gifted composer. Joined by bassist Walter Stinson and drummer Matt Honor, he offers a dozen of his own staggeringly good tunes, as well as a couple of striking free improvisations by the band. A graduate of Harvard and New England Conservatory, Sun's intellectual bent and dedicated study of jazz serve him well in writing that merges evolving rhythms, steadfast swing, and wild melodic lines.
All About Jazz featured "Find Your Pose" from Trio as its Track of the Day (April 26, 2018).
Fiona Ord-Shrimpton writes:
Like a glass of cool water, fresh, chilled and quenching. Sun provides minimal in abundance, clean, intelligent and explorative. It's fun knots and deviations make for a new listen each time.
"...oozing with Stan Getzian fog."
George W. Harris at Jazz Weekly wrote the following review of Trio:
Reed-lead trio affairs are not for the faint of heart, but Kevin Sun mixes and matches with a variety of instruments and moods to keep your attention and enjoyment intact. He joins together with the flexible team of Walter Stinson/b and Matt Honor, who are adept in either deep pockets or loose change throughout.
Sun’s tenor is used on most of the tracks, and his tone is filled with Sonny Rollins muscle and warmth, floating like a leaf on “Transaccidentalism” going the role of the bopper on “Find Your Pose” and oozing with Stan Getzian fog on “Ballroom Dancing.” Stinson and Honor get nifty with deep grooves on the hip “Bittergreen” and nifty “Deliver the Keys” and with Sun switching to clarinet, get impressionistic on “Loading Screen” and dreamy on the luscious “Air Purifier.” The ringer is with Sun on the rarely played C Melody Sax delivering a brash “All of Me” and teaming with Stinson’s bowed bass for a rich “One Never Knows How.” Deft deliveries.
"...Sun does not force the action."
Richard Kamins at Step Tempest wrote a thoughtful review of Trio. Read the full text below:
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2018
Two Masters at Play, One Trio Exploring
Kevin Sun may be recognizable from his work with the quartets Great on Paper (cd review here) or Earprint (reviewed here) or his byline as a transcriber of several of Ethan Iverson's interviews. The Harvard/New England Conservatory graduate (he was the first to complete the schools' combined 5-year degree program) studied composition with Miguel Zenón and John Hollenbeck and has written on his blog ("A Horizontal Search") an understanding of both the history and forward motion in jazz. "Trio | Kevin Sun" (Endectomorph Music) is his debut recording as a leader. Like the best saxophone trio recordings (Sonny Rollins's "Way Out West" and "Freedom Suite", Joe Henderson's "The State of the Tenor Vols. 1 & 2", Bernie McGann's "Bundeena"), this music works because it is a collaboration of Sun (tenor saxophone, c-melody saxophone, clarinet) with the impressive rhythm section of bassist Walter Stinson (Adam O'Farrill Quartet) and drummer Matt Honor (Cowboys & Frenchmen, Cat Toren).