Steve Kuhn Trio: Pavane for a Dead Princess (2006)
The result is nothing less than terrific. These are not classical melodies sitting stiffly on a jazz beat; instead, the trio digs deep into the structure of these well-worn compositions and thoroughly explores and expands them. Who knew "Swan Lake" or "Fantasy Impromptu" could swing like that? Or that Brahms's treacly "Lullaby" would make such a moving ballad?
Listeners familiar with this music in its original form will get the biggest kick out of this release, and those who've been intimate with Chopin's piano scores will especially appreciate the brilliance of Kuhn's improvisations. But any listener can enjoy what happens to strong, beautiful melodies in expert hands like these.
The recording is clear and warm, the pacing ideal. The musicians are in peak form, sounding positively inspired, and they swing like mad. What a delight!
Track Listing: I'm Always Chasing Rainbows, Pavane for a Dead Princess, Moon Love - Symphony #5 2nd Movement, One Read Rose Forever - Ich Liebe Dich, Swan Lake, Nocturne in Eb Major Op9, No2, Reverie, Prelude in E Minor Op28 No4, Full Moon and Empty Arms - Piano Concerto #2 3rd movement, Pavane, Lullaby.
Personnel: Steve Kuhn: piano; David Finck: bass; Billy Drummond: drums.
Record Label: Venus Records
Style: Beyond Jazz