188

Steve Kuhn: Quireme Mucho + Trance

Ken Dryden By

Sign in to view read count






Steve Kuhn
Quiéreme Mucho
Sunnyside Records
2005


Steve Kuhn
Trance
ECM Records
2006

Pianist Steve Kuhn has never been the type of musician to stand still by sticking to one approach to his instrument, but has sought to explore many different possibilities during his recording sessions. Although recorded decades apart, these two small group affairs (though neither one is longer than a typical LP) are worthy examples of his extensive discography.

Steve Kuhn's Quiéreme Mucho is a 2000 studio date that first appeared on the Venus label in Japan (with a nude female cover photo that was replaced for the more conservative American market), featuring the pianist with bassist David Finck and drummer Al Foster. Together they explore melodies from Spanish-speaking lands, including composers from Spain, Cuba and Mexico, though transforming most of them into bop melodies with little rhythmic clue as to their origin. "Andalucia (The Breeze and I) becomes a driving mid-tempo bop vehicle. The normally slow, sad ballad "Besame Mucho is reborn as a brisk, breezy flight for the trio's improvisations, in which Kuhn incorporates a series of humorous but logical quotes, including The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby . The loping rhythm of Kuhn's setting of the title track is the closest thing to a Latin approach on the date, with Foster's steady percussion and Finck's spacious bass line backing the leader's romantic playing. Kuhn puts the spotlight on his rhythm section in the walking treatment of "Tres Palabras .

Trance marked Steve Kuhn's second session for ECM, a straight reissue of a 1974 session that finds him playing originals and alternating between acoustic and electric piano. Joining him are two premiere accompanists, electric bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Jack DeJohnette, along with percussionist Sue Evans. His composition "Trance suggests a hypnotic state with Kuhn making full use of the keyboard over its steady rhythm.

"Squirt is an avant-garde jazz trip with Kuhn focusing on the upper end of a keyboard, suggesting a treacherous nightmare as the sleeper struggles to awaken; "The Sandhouse is more accessible, yet also has an ominous air.

More cheery is the slightly funky "The Young Blade . The only misfire is the bizarre narrative introduction to "Life's Backward Glance . It is a bit campy as Kuhn utilizes the famous throwaway introduction to novels ("It was a dark and stormy night ) by hack writers.

Kuhn switches to electric piano for several tracks. The upbeat "Squirt will bring immediate comparisons to the work of Chick Corea, though Kuhn's work on the instrument is a bit more subtle. The brisk, Latin-flavored "Something Everywhere almost suggests a galloping ride on horseback, with the focus primarily upon Swallow's imaginative solo. It is a shame that no unissued material was found for this laudable reissue.


Tracks and Personnel

Quiereme Mucho

Tracks: Andalucia (The Breeze and I); Besame Mucho (Kiss Me Much); Siempre en Mi Corazon (Always in My Heart); Duerme (Time Was); Quiereme Mucho (Yours); Tres Palabras (Without You).

Personnel: Steve Kuhn: piano; David Finck: bass; Al Foster: drums.

Trance

Tracks: Trance; A Change of Face; Squirt; The Sandhouse; Something Everywhere; Silver; The Young Blade; Life's Backward Glance.

Personnel: Steve Kuhn: piano, electric piano; Steve Swallow: electric bass; Jack DeJohnette: drums; Sue Evans: percussion.


Shop

More Articles

Read New, Notable and Nearly Missed Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read Weekertoft Hits Its Stride… Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read Pi Recordings 2016 Releases Multiple Reviews Pi Recordings 2016 Releases
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Emanem Tidies Up" Multiple Reviews Emanem Tidies Up
by John Eyles
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Five By Five - More Love From Ivo Perelman" Multiple Reviews Five By Five - More Love From Ivo Perelman
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 4, 2016
Read "Montreux Through The Decades: Jazz Recordings, Part One" Multiple Reviews Montreux Through The Decades: Jazz Recordings, Part One
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 27, 2016
Read "Mysteries Of The Deep and Binary from Brian (Shankar) Adler" Multiple Reviews Mysteries Of The Deep and Binary from Brian (Shankar) Adler
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Allison Miller & Honey Ear Trio: Lean; Swivel" Multiple Reviews Allison Miller & Honey Ear Trio: Lean; Swivel
by Doug Collette
Published: November 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!