Stan Killian: Unified / Hargrove, Pelt, Binney May01

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Album at a Glance

Tonal and Consonant
Sunnyside Records Record Label - Sunnyside Records: "With no binding contracts, no specific mission, and an acceptance of any jazz style, Sunnyside is a relaxed independent label. We simply release music that we like."
Release date: 2011-05-03

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Stan Killian: Unified / Jeremy Pelt, Roy Hargrove, David Binney

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New York-based Stan Killian’s tenor saxophone voice can be described as pensive with influences of Trane, Mobley, Griffin, and Getz. His colors are rich and they burn in a quiet fire of long, unbroken lines, so it would seem Killian’s style settles best in a ballad - as it does on the title track “Unified” (heard live below). Yet he proves us wrong with his versatility; in “Isosceles” we hear Killian quickly reveal that he can play tempos others may not attempt.

Of the 7 tracks on this CD, all are Killian’s original compositions except for “Elvin’s Sight”, a Latin-tinged, funky post-bop groove written by Venezuelan piano player Benito Gonzalez. Composition styles range from wistful and lyrical to grinding and percussive, each imbued with inviting melodies and utterly beautiful, sometimes slanted harmonies passed between soloists as accessible motifs.

Apart from partner Gonzalez on piano, who plays in every track, wonderfully talented musicians join Killian’s fine group. Trumpeters Roy Hargrove and Jeremy Pelt, drummers McClenty Hunter and Darrell Green, and bassists Bryan Copeland and Corcoran Holt all help keep the music alive and on edge and contribute some very captivating improvisational interplay. In short, Killian’s original tunes and lush melodies are interesting and catchy enough that we can’t help but recommend - no, guarantee - this album for any jazz lover. Listen to “Isosceles” in the sidebar to see why.

Stan Killian "Unified" (Live)