Steve Kuhn – To and from the Heart (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 46:42 minutes | 938 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Sunnyside
Having just celebrated his 80th birthday, pianist Steve Kuhn has continued to get to the heart of things with his long-standing trio of bass guitarist Steve Swallow and drummer Joey Baron. The ensemble’s deeply resonant relationship can be heard on their new recording, To and From The Heart, a poignant collection of pieces that showcases these masters’ highly wrought abilities in wringing emotion from the ether.
The legendary Kuhn has been a notable exponent of jazz’s adaptability and creativity since his professional debut nearly 60 years ago. His early work with the leaders of jazz’s vanguard, including Coleman Hawkins and Chet Baker, along with his forays into the avant-garde with John Coltrane, Gary McFarland and Pete La Roca, amongst many others, have solidified his credentials.
The past few decades have found the pianist focusing more and more on the expressivity of the piano trio format. Kuhn has worked with a number of different amalgamations of musicians of the highest caliber, including Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, Buster Williams, etc. But it has been his most recent trio roster that he has found most comfortable over the last two decades.
Bassist Steve Swallow is a perfect foil for Kuhn, as he can be a supportive part of the rhythm team or highly tuneful solo voice. His remarkable ability as a composer is also highlighted on To and From The Heart, as it features two of his original compositions. Drummer Joey Baron is the heartbeat of this body, as he can be a font of energy or a cool stabilizer.
To and From The Heart was recorded at the illustrious Sear Sound Recording Studio in New York in September of 2017 with the assistance of producer Artie Moorhead and engineer Katsuhiko Naito.
The program begins with Swallow’s “Thinking Out Loud,” a bright but introspective piece that allows for thoughtful solos from Kuhn and Swallow. Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newly’s waltzing “Pure Imagination” floats in a tide of nostalgia and calm. Swallow’s “Away” is quietly devastating with its simplicity and beauty. The heartrending continues with Raymond Evans and Jay Livingston’s touching “Never Let Me Go,” which leads to Michika Fukumori’s upbeat and lively “Into The New World.” The recording concludes with a long rumination on two of Kuhn’s original pieces, “Trance / Oceans In The Sky,” providing a sweeping and dramatic close.
Over his career, Steve Kuhn has fashioned his music into a conduit for emotion. His new recording, To and From The Heart, with his grand trio of Steve Swallow and Joey Baron encapsulates his ethos of wearing his feelings on his sleeve and to express them with the most reciprocative of bandmates.
1. Steve Kuhn Trio – Thinking Out Loud (07:49)
2. Steve Kuhn Trio – Pure Imagination (06:15)
3. Steve Kuhn Trio – Away (06:00)
4. Steve Kuhn Trio – Never Let Me Go (04:38)
5. Steve Kuhn Trio – Into the New World (05:29)
6. Steve Kuhn Trio – Trance Oceans In the Sky (16:29)
Steve Kuhn – piano
Steve Swallow – bass guitar
Joey Baron – drums