174

Tim Kuhl: King

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Tim Kuhl: King An excellent example of post-modern musicianship, drummer Tim Kuhl has led a diverse career since relocating to New York City in 2003. A classically trained percussionist, he has held a steady residency in the East Village with his jazz ensemble and played with a slew of rock bands, including The Izzys, The Junkman Band, Less Than Treason, and Magnets for Teeth.

King, his second album as a leader, features the powerhouse front line of tenor saxophonist Jon Irabagon, trombonist Rick Parker, and the dual electric guitars of Nir Felder and Ryan Mackstaller. Bassist Aidan Carroll joins Kuhl as a stalwart rhythm section partner, providing the front line with a firm but pliant foundation that ranges from lilting swing to throttling backbeats. Playing a magnanimous leadership role, Kuhl solos infrequently, supporting the expressive flights of his stellar soloists rather than stealing the limelight.

An adept songwriter, Kuhl's memorable melodies are bolstered by rich harmonies and unfussy arrangements. Weaving the emotionally direct tunefulness of rock music with lush jazz harmonies and the spaciousness of chamber music, his writing ignores genre boundary lines while maintaining a singular thematic focus.

Gracefully transitioning between moods, his sextet interprets these infectious tunes with a mix of unfettered zeal and eloquent restraint. At their most impassioned, Irabagon's tortuous tenor runs and Parker's staccato trombone cadences provide ample drama, complemented by Felder and Mackstaller's scorching fretwork and the rhythm section's unwavering drive. Blistering swing is only one of many nuanced facets revealed by Kuhl's multi-dimensional writing however.

The languid "Kiss of Death" is awash in opulent melancholy, while "The Defender of Time" massages a bittersweet refrain, intermittently amplified by brisk modulations in tempo and tone. "Phantasm" ascends into Hendrixian territory with fervent electricity and a rousing turn from Parker's blustery horn while Irabagon's vociferous tenor volleys on "The Opposition," ride a careening rhythm to roiling climax. Book-ended by complementary atmospheres, King opens with the soaring ebullience of the title track and closes with the effervescent funk of "Stars," forbearers of great things to come from an impressive new voice.


Track Listing: King; I; The Defender of Time; Phantasm; II; The Opposition; III; Kiss of Death; Stars.

Personnel: Tim Kuhl: drums; Jon Irabagon: tenor saxophone; Rick Parker: trombone; Nir Felder: guitar; Ryan Mackstaller: guitar; Aidan Carroll: bass.

Title: King | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: WJF Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Flesh & Bone CD/LP/Track Review Flesh & Bone
by Troy Collins
Published: August 22, 2017
Read Generations CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 22, 2017
Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read "Binary & Mysteries of the Deep" CD/LP/Track Review Binary & Mysteries of the Deep
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 20, 2016
Read "More Essentials" CD/LP/Track Review More Essentials
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "Sanjay Divecha and Secret" CD/LP/Track Review Sanjay Divecha and Secret
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "First Set" CD/LP/Track Review First Set
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "Salão Brazil" CD/LP/Track Review Salão Brazil
by John Sharpe
Published: March 30, 2017
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.