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Killian, Stan: Unified

Born in Texas, now residing in New York, Stan Killian has been a stalwart in the contemporary jazz scene performing in many venues in the Eastern U.S. His new release Unified is a homage to a bygone era when smooth, cool jazz and bebop were all the rage. At the same time, Killian's music transcends the passage of time and provides a refreshing listening experience with these seven compositions, six of which were penned by Killian himself.

Killian is joined by pianist Benito Gonzalez who appears on all the tracks and has help on bass, drums, alto sax and trumpet from seven others. It's a full, swinging sound with Killian's tenor saxophone leading the way. His playing is melodic and textural, full of the vibrant colours that is so necessary for music of this nature.

The album opening track "Twin Dark Mirrors" starts with an intro of cool trumpet and tenor sax before washes of cymbals gently cascade through the soundscape before leading to more of a feel good groove of swinging bebop.. The sax work is crisp and clear as it is throughout the disc.

"Elvin's Sight" is next featuring a playful rollicking piano intro and the sultry alto saxophone of David Binney contrasting nicely with Killian's deeper tones.

The album's title track is a romantic number with soft piano notes and luxurious sax lines that become a little more frantic with the passage of time. As the song ends a more languid pace ensues recalling the song's passionate beginnings.

In "Center", the album's longest track, a swinging jazzy groove laden with rich tenor sax is laid down before the music is allowed to build in intensity. The bass playing of Corcoran Holt deserves special mention.

2011 has seen many fine jazz releases and you can add Unified to the list. If you appreciate the work of jazz greats like Coltrane and Davis, Stan Killian is a player you should get to know. Released on Sunnyside Records.

Track Listing:
1. Twin Dark Mirrors (7:30)
2. Elvin's Sight (8:14)
3. Unified (6:31)
4. Center (9:28)
5. Isosceles (6:42)
6. Window Of Time (7:51)
7. Eternal Return (6:59)

Added: September 5th 2011
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1947
Language: english

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