200

Steve Kuhn Trio: Live At Birdland

By

Sign in to view read count
Steve Kuhn Trio: Live At Birdland If Steve Kuhn's name does not immediately spring to mind when considering the most talented pianists on the jazz scene today, this album should change that. Live at Birdland, with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Al Foster confirms that jazz is first and foremost an art of live performance. This disc also demonstrates how the magic of such a performance can be captured and shared in a fine recording.

The set list, at first glance is unremarkable, including several standards. One test of such a choice is performing a song considered a warhorse in a way that does not remind us how many times we've heard it before, but rather how many times we would like to hear this version again. Kuhn, Carter and Foster do that with, "If I Were A Bell," and "Jitterbug Waltz," to name two. A song not done so often, or not frequently in a trio context, such as "Slow Hot Wind" makes us wonder why others don't perform it. That Henry Mancini tune, to my mind, is associated primarily with vocalists including Johnny Hartman, whose version is a classic. In the hands of this trio it is a revelation.

One is reluctant to single out other performances from the set because each has something to recommend it. But the combination of Debussy and Strayhorn in "La Plus Que Lente/Passion Flower," deserves special mention. It is an inventive mix of romanticism that reminds us how much great music has in common despite somewhat disparate sources.

Kuhn, Carter and Foster have worked together before and it shows. Ashley Kahn's highly readable liner notes remind us this same trio performed at the Village Vanguard 20 years earlier. Time has only burnished the art of all three men, both as individual performers and, more importantly as an outstanding combination. Live at Birdland is a compelling disc that amply rewards with repeated listens.


Track Listing: If I Were A Bell; Jitterbug Waltz; Two by Two; La Plus Que Lente/Passion Flower; Little Waltz; Lotus Blossom; Stella by Starlight; Slow Hot Wind; Clotilde; Confirmation.

Personnel: Steve Kuhn: piano; Ron Carter: bass; Al Foster: drums.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Blue Note Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "King of the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review King of the Blues
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 27, 2016
Read "Wet Paint" CD/LP/Track Review Wet Paint
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Times and Tides" CD/LP/Track Review Times and Tides
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Three Octaves Above The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Three Octaves Above The Sun
by James Nadal
Published: August 1, 2016
Read "Intenso!" CD/LP/Track Review Intenso!
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 7, 2016
Read "Rise" CD/LP/Track Review Rise
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!