84

The Steffen Kuehn Nonet: Now or Later

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Steffen Kuehn Nonet: Now or Later As I was listening to trumpeter Steffen Kuehn's new album, Now or Later, two thoughts occurred: (1) these guys can really play, and (2) why am I not enjoying it more?

I think the answer to that second thought rests not so much on how Kuehn and his colleagues play as it does on what they are playing. This is what is known as post bop or contemporary, and while in this instance it is rhythmically strong, it is also—to define the issue as clearly as possible—melodically less than persuasive. Call me old-fashioned (others have) but there are no songs here (excepting Sonny Rollins' "Oleo and Monk's "Ruby, My Dear ) to beckon the ear or quicken the heart. Six of the compositions and all of the arrangements are by someone identified as W Roth, and none save perhaps the bright-eyed finale, "Try to C#, is, to me, of more than passing interest.

Having said that, the fact is that Kuehn, his sidemen and guest trumpeter Tim Hagans are high-caliber players who make the most of whatever is on their plate. The ensemble is shipshape, the rhythm section strong and supportive, and the solos, while hardly groundbreaking, are never less than effective (Kuehn is especially convincing on "Ruby, My Dear, while baritone Pete Cornell burns intensely on "C# ). Tenor saxophonist Alex Murzyn is featured on "Not in Austria, pianist Jonathan Alford on "So Far Away. Hagans frames a number of conclusive statements, most notably on "Oleo, "C#, and Russell Ferrante's "Freedomland.

The talent on offer speaks for itself, and other listeners may not have the problem I had with lyricism, or the lack thereof. A trim and assertive post bop session for those less hidebound than I.


Track Listing: Now or Later; Juno's Eyes; Freedomland; Not in Austria; Rest Revised; So Far Away; Oleo; Forced FN; Ruby, My Dear; Try to C# (59:21).

Personnel: Steffen Kuehn, trumpet, flugelhorn; Dave Scott, Terry Russell, trumpet; Alex Budman, alto, soprano sax, bass clarinet, flute; Alex Murzyn, tenor sax, clarinet, flute; Pete Cornell, baritone, soprano sax, flute; Jonathan Alford, piano; Mike Bacile, bass; Andrew Eberhard, drums. Special guest artist Tim Hagans, trumpet.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: StefRecords | Style: Contemporary/Smooth


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Forest Grove" CD/LP/Track Review Forest Grove
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 26, 2016
Read "Sanjay Divecha and Secret" CD/LP/Track Review Sanjay Divecha and Secret
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "Jersey" CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 9, 2016
Read "Love Wins Again" CD/LP/Track Review Love Wins Again
by James Nadal
Published: June 9, 2016
Read "Together, As One" CD/LP/Track Review Together, As One
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 7, 2016
Read "Live at PafA" CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017

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!