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Album Review

A neglected figure in the overall scheme of modern jazz, perhaps this magnificent recording from the veteran pianist Kuhn will somewhat salve that wound. He is masterfully impressionistic, skillful as any, extra-lyrical, and his talent is in full array with substantive help from bassist David Finck and drummer Billy Drummond. In his flowery liner notes, Rafi Zabor refers to Kuhn's sound as that of utter "refracted beauty" — a concise and apt a description for Kuhn's consistently brilliant musings. The bulk of the program is standards, reharmonized as the quick-witted John Coltrane title track, the lilting endless melody streams tacked on to "Four," or the "Milestones"-tagged version of "Speak Low" showing that as Kuhn is deep, he's also clever. Adapting "Why Did I Choose You?" as if walking on eggshells with a slight samba beat, Kuhn's dancing figures are steps he invents. Finck's singing bass solo accents the laid-back Benny Carter evergreen "When Lights Are Low," and Kuhn's take on "She's Funny That Way" expands further on this already exceptional melody. There are three of Kuhn's originals, totaling a mere 12 minutes. A recap on the piece from his Sheila Jordan phase, "Last Year's Waltz" gets a regret-filled rubato treatment seen through lavender-colored glasses. "Chalet" is as elegiac as any snow covered mountain home, while "Tomorrow's Son" is a rhapsodic, free entity with more cascading piano. Steve Swallow's "Wrong Together" is also included, weeping with even-keeled swing and repeated inquisitions as to why. This music clearly inspires all kinds of lush, regal imagery. It is Kuhn at his best, one of the more soul-stirring piano trio CDs of recent hearing, and a joy to listen to more than just once. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Born: 24 March 1938 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A highly regarded jazz pianist and composer, Steve Kuhn is known for his sophisticated ear for harmony and lyrical, motivic approach to improvisation. Emerging from the Boston jazz scene, Kuhn's adaptive, forward-thinking skills have found him moving across various genres from swinging acoustic post-bop to classical-influenced chamber jazz and the avant-garde. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1938 to Hungarian immigrant parents, Kuhn first became interested in music at a young age while listening...
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Countdown, Steve Kuhn
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  • 9,90 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 09 November 1998

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