“Evoke” Limited Edition Autographed CD
On sale: Autographed Limited Edition CD
Evoke, the follow up album to the critically acclaimed recording Unified, shows Killian in peak form. Adding modern guitar master Mike Moreno to his quartet of the past four years. Killian states: “I wanted to take this recording as an opportunity to showcase my working band and some of the original music we’ve been developing over the past year at our steady 55 Bar gigs here in New York. The first record with this group was more of an introduction to who I am as a player, composer, and band leader, but may have been over shadowed by some of the heavy guest artist we had on it”.
Regarding the question of whether or not Killian was upstaged on his last record by his impressive guest list, Down Beat Magazine reviewer Jon Ross said, “His musical personality is a foil to his guest artists: David Binney, Roy Hargrove, and Jeremy Pelt. But even through all the exciting playing, Killian commands attention” (August 2011).
The New York based tenor saxophonist and composer was born and raised in Texas and began gigging professionally at age 16 with his father Joe Killian, a jazz pianist and Hammond organist who worked in bands led by sax legends Sonny Stitt, Jimmy Ford, and Don Wilkerson. With a saxophone spirit reminiscent of Illinois Jacquet, Arnett Cobb, and James Clay, the twenty-first century Texas Tenor seeks to modernize this rich lineage by developing a highly personalized compositional approach coupled with a consistent group sound steeped in simpatico and interplay.
Killian claims sounds emanating from New York City’s dense urban landscape provided much of the inspiration for the material on Evoke. On the opening track, the reoccurring 7/4 motif of “Subterranean Melody” was inspired by the melodic sound of oncoming N and Q trains approaching the Union Square station. While offering a wide view of the City’s skyline, the train’s ensuing journey over the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn provided the inspiration for the heavy 4/4 rock feel of the B section.
The ballad “Evoke” exemplifies Killian’s modern meets traditional saxophone style as guitarist Mike Moreno and pianist Benito Gonzalez meld a lush bed of interweaving harmonic layers giving the title track an atmospheric intensity, which is continually propelled by bassist Corcoran Holt and drummer McClenty Hunter.
The cyclical melodic themes of “Echolalic” mirrors the repetitive sounds of machinery in Manhattan, while the up-tempo swinging “Kirby” recalls the hurried pace of city life. Killian composed “Beekman33” after a curiously quiet late night stroll through midtown’s Bryant Park and “Observation”, a tune which traverses multiple odd meters, is an ode to the juxtaposing moods and life styles of New Yorkers. The album closes with “Hindu” a modal Latin excursion written with a nod to Joe Henderson, Larry Young, and Woody Shaw.
Killian embarks on his world tour in support of “Evoke” on February 27, beginning in Asia. King Records (Sunnyside’s sister label in Japan) releases the album followed by a US release of March 12. He’ll tour Japan before heading Shanghai for a week long stint at the Peace Hotel (March 12 -16).
“I look forward to heading to Japan again. I really want to cultivate Japanese music fans. There is a level of reverence towards the music that is often missing here in America. I’m also excited about visiting China for the first time. China is so dominant in the news, I’m eager to see how I can increase the visibility and importance of jazz there.”
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