Filipe Freitas and Clara Pereira over at JazzTrail attended The Sustain of Memory album release show at The Jazz Gallery this past Friday, and they published a review with photos here.
KEVIN SUN’S THE SUSTAIN OF MEMORY CD RELEASE AT THE JAZZ GALLERY, NYC, NOV 15
By Filipe Freitas, JazzTrail
Emerging saxophonist/composer Kevin Sun celebrated the release of his new double-disc album, The Sustain of Memory, at the Jazz Gallery on Friday, November 15. Playing with his regular mates, Sun filled the first set with two extended original compositions, “Circle, Line” and “The Middle of Tensions”, written for trio and quartet, respectively. Divided into 12 short movements, the former piece was equipped with challenging polyrhythmic junctures, rock-inflected sections, punctilious contrapuntal activity, and opportune tonal variations on the tenor, which, whether aligning with or shifting from the creative rhythmic tapestries, put us in an alert state of mind. Bassist Walter Stinson can be a source of massive tension, revealing structural robustness during the athletic rides, while the imperturbable drummer Matt Honor impressed me through toe-tapping cross-stick patterns and apparent volatile dynamics.
These same musicians remained on stage for the second part of the set, welcoming pianist Dana Saul, who, providing harmonic color and further textural possibilities, dramatically contributed to an equally sharper yet more vibrant piece of music than the one before. In this manner, moments of emotionally resonant lyricism contrasted with intense, rock-solid forays crafted with slick phrases and progressively offbeat saxophone hooks atop.
Never sparse in ideas, Sun’s modern creative style successfully intersperses collective entanglements and solo moments, where every single musician has the opportunity to shine individually. By innovating today, these artists are stepping toward the jazz of tomorrow. Pity we couldn’t stay for the second set, where the saxist was joined by trumpeter Adam O’Farrill, bassist Simón Willson, and drummer Dayeon Seok in order to perform the album's final piece, “The Rigors Of Love”.