"...tantalizing tensions between form and freedom"
Jon Garelick wrote some kind words about Trio for Jazziz magazine. The review isn't available at Jazziz online yet, but you can read the full text below:
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Kevin Sun – Trio (Endectomorph Music)
Reed player and composer Kevin Sun established a reputation for rigorous scholarship with his blog, "A Horizontal Search," which boasts more than 120 solo transcriptions of everyone from Clifford Brown and John Coltrane to Steve Coleman and Vijay Iyer. How fastidious is Sun? Studying Lester Young, he went so far as to get a hold of the kind of tenor — fitted with vintage mouthpiece — that Pres played with Basie. What's more, he's taken up the oddball C-melody saxophone simply because that was the horn played by one of Young's influences, Frankie Trumbauer.
"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).
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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).
"...an impressive display of expressionism"
Dave Sumner at Bird Is The Worm included Trio in a round-up of recent releases.
Full text below:
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The Round-up: Between steel and sky
Bird Is The Worm
June 11, 2018
There’s an undercurrent of aggression on the newest from Kevin Sun, and it flows through the music no differently when it veers into avant-garde territory as it does when the trio is simply laying down a pretty melody. Joined by bassist Water [sic] Stinson and drummer Matt Honor, the tenor saxophonist rolls out an impressive display of expressionism, where the method of delivery is what binds the album together instead of the cohesion of sound. That’s pretty cool, and it’s why the ever-changing landscape of Trio feels like it’s keeping to a predetermined path. Music from Brooklyn, NY.
— Dave Sumner
"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.