On their debut album, "Breathe," Kin Trio explores a spacious, mindful aesthetic with vigor, subtlety and grace. Band members Sunjae Lee (saxophones), Andre St. James (double bass) and Tim DuRoche (drums) felt an immediate kinship during their first playing encounter. While each of the individuals involved boast extensive credentials as bandleaders, sidemen, and arts administrators, the members of Kin Trio resonate with one another both as improvising musicians and as fellow practitioners of meditation and good health.
The band's unique style of "minimalist bebop" combines these diverse cultural, physical, and spiritual interests with the traditional jazz approach to improvising over standard song forms. The album consists mostly of material composed by bandleader and reed player Sunjae Lee. "Echolalia" tips the hat to the jazz tradition with its use of the now ubiquitous chord progression from “I Got Rhythm" while simultaneously touching on Sunjae's broader interests: the tune is based on a pathological condition which causes somebody to compulsively repeat a word or phrase, which Sunjae further relates to the practice in meditation of repeating a mantra many, many times.
"Jing Qi Chen" is a beautiful solo saxophone arrangement of the standard tune "Body and Soul." The source material has been deconstructed extensively, leaving a spacious, open meditation on some melodic fragments of the original standard. "Lunar" is a composition based on the changes from the popular jazz standard "Solar." While Solar is typically played in jam sessions with great energy and competitively high note density, "Lunar" evokes the more sensitive, feminine yang to this rather aggressive yin. There are two covers on the record. Sonny King’s “Nevele” is a lithe and angular melody reminiscent of the late sixties acoustic free jazz explosion. A tender, heartfelt rendition of Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" brings the album to a close on a sweet, delicate note.
PJCE Records is a grassroots recording label documenting the wide variety of original music being created by Portland area jazz composers and improvisers. We aim to provide an outlet to encourage the dissemination of new music in the area as well as fostering community within the jazz and improvised music scene in Portland. We release one album per month digitally and/or in limited CD pressings. The albums are recorded live in one session per album, reflecting a common practice from jazz history and encouraging a rapid turnaround to document and enhance the thriving community of jazz and improvising musicians in the Portland area. The label is operated by the Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble and all rights to the music remain with the individual artists.
released 15 March 2013
Sunjae Lee, soprano, alto, and tenor sax
Andre St. James, bass
Tim DuRoche, drums
Recorded live to 2-track January 28, 2013 at Tango Berretin in Portland, OR
Sound by Andrew Oliver
Art by tinylittlehammers