This Friday, November 15, The Jazz Galley is pleased to welcome saxophonist Kevin Sun to our stage to celebrate the release of his new double album, The Sustain of Memory (Endectomorph Music). Close to two hours in length, the recording features three long form compositions—”The Middle of Tensions,” “Circle, Line,” and “The Rigors of Love.” Sun debuted “Tensions” and “Rigors” at the Gallery in recent years, and spoke to Jazz Speaks about the concepts behind each one. In discussing “The Rigors of Love,” Sun noted that one goal for him with the piece:
…was being willing to write stuff that is maybe uncomfortably slow, that pushes the boundaries of what I’ve written in the past in terms of duration and perception, being willing to try something relatively slow-moving. I wanted to practice being okay with stasis, and seeing what happens when we have a group of improvisers working in that space. It’s different from the trio music where, say, it’s mostly frenetic and explosive and active, here the beats are wider for the most part.
In discussing “The Middle of Tensions,” Sun explained his thinking on how certain musical ideas can engender emotional tension.
This is a really simplistic way of thinking about it, but a lot of it is having different streams, two different things happen at the same time, like different tempos. There are these polyrhythms where you’re aligned, and then you go away for a while, and then you intersect again, and it’s hard to tell if there’s a dominant pulse. On the harmonic side, there are these dense chords and it sounds like it’s going to resolve, but then doesn’t really resolve, or it does resolve, but the resolution isn’t totally satisfying because there’s a lot of other stuff going on in there. It’s unrelenting.
For this album release show at the Gallery, Sun has assembled his full cast of collaborators from the album—trumpeter Adam O’Farrill, pianist Dana Saul, bassists Simón Willson and Walter Stinson, and drummers Dayeon Seok and Matt Honor. Before coming out to hear the music live, take a listen to the album, below.