KUHN, STEVE / STEVE SWALLOW / JOEY BARON Wisteria. ECM Jazz

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Kuhn Steve Steve Swallow Joey Baron Wisteria Ecm Jazz

STEVE KUHN / STEVE SWALLOW / JOEY BARON Wisteria

1. Chalet

2. Adagio

3. Morning Dew

4. Romance

5. Permanent Wave

6. A Likely Story

7. Pastorale

8. Wisteria

9. Dark Glasses

10. Promises Kept

11. Good Lookin' Rookie

Steve Kuhn (piano), Steve Swallow (bass), Joey Baron (drums)

Wisdom and wistfulness are intertwined in Wisteria, whose title track, written by Art Farmer, takes listeners back to the early 1960s, when both pianist Steve Kuhn and bassist Steve Swallow sang softly of the blues in the trumpeterflugelhornist’s band. The pair know each other’s playing well: in accord at a very high level, they develop their improvisational ideas together and share the same love of melody.

This new album takes a fresh look at several pieces heard in Kuhn’s orchestral Promises Kept collection (0675222) – his robust and adaptable compositions have often lent themselves to quite different interpretations – but alongside the aching balladry there is also some driving hard bop (on ‘A Likely Story’), a brace of Swallow tunes (‘Dark Glasses’), Carla Bley’s gospel-tinged ‘Permanent Wave’ and the Brazilian ‘Romance’ by Dori Caymmi… In all, it’s a varied programme that the trio seems to sail through effortlessly, master musicians beyond the need to prove anything, creating the agreeable illusion that this demanding music is playing itself.

Early on Steve Kuhn moved in exceptional company, playing with Chet Baker and Coleman Hawkins, and then in a band with Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. Briefly and famously, he was the first pianist of the John Coltrane Quartet and later worked with Stan Getz in a line-up with Scott LaFaro. At the end of the 1960s, Kuhn spent four years living in Europe, mostly in Scandinavia, but it was not until his return to the United States that he began his affiliation with ECM, resulting in a string of important albums. Three were reprised in the 2008 box set Life’s Backward Glances (177 9946): the solo album Ecstasy, and the quartet discs Motility and Playground (the latter with singer Sheila Jordan).

ECM Jazz 2794578

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Box sets - Depending on the product packaging, box sets are not charged at the full rate.
DVDs are charged as 2 CDs. 

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