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Anything that pianist Steve Kuhn does is likely to be beautifully executed and tasteful, and Pavane for a Dead Princess is no exception. Here, he and his empathic collaborators David Finck (bass) and Billy Drummond (drums) address themselves to the stock classical repertoire, jazzing up eleven popular pieces from Debussy, Rachmaninov, Tchaikowsky, Grieg, Brahms and Chopin. (There are actually two "Pavane"sthe title track, by Ravel, and Faure's version.)
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.
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com