Steve Kuhn Trio – Watch What Happens! (1968/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/88,2kHz]

Steve Kuhn Trio – Watch What Happens! (1968/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 35:48 minutes | 675 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © MPS

American pianist Steve Kuhn’s playing credentials are as impressive as they are lengthy. Starting out in 1959 with trumpeter Kenny Durham, he went on to work with John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Art Farmer, and Gary Burton over the next few years. Kuhn recorded this 1968 album during his four-year sojourn in Stockholm. He teams up here with the best Scandinavian rhythm section of that era, bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Jon Christensen, who were to become members of the legendary Keith Jarrett ‘European Quartet’. The title piece, a tasty Michel Legrand composition, flows from the Latin pulse of its theme on into Kuhn’s surging, hard-swinging solo. The Kuhn original Silver evokes the pianist’s contemplative side, and J. J. Johnson’s ballad Lament stays in this introspective vein before segueing into the relaxed Latin feel of Once We Loved. There’s a driving impressionistic impulse to Tom Jones that modulates into a lilting Burt Bacharach medley, Windows of the World & Here I Am, whereas Kuhn plays I Fall in Love too Easily with the required sense of pathos. Carla Bley’s Ad Infinitum is the album’s tour de force, encompassing the avante-garde, loping, Latinesque moments, and intense, propulsive modern jazz. Exquisitely recorded, this album is trio play at its refined best; it’s simply a beautiful album.

Like many pianists, Steve Kuhn seems to put out one quality disc after another but doesn’t ever seem to get the attention he deserves. This beautifully recorded studio date from 1968, with bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Jon Christensen, is a good example. Eschewing the typical easygoing approaches to Michel Legrand’s “Watch What Happens,” he launches into a very brisk bossa nova arrangement. J.J. Johnson’s gorgeous ballad “Lament” was never in better hands as Kuhn delivers a shimmering but poignant performance; the piece segues into Gary McFarland’s unjustly neglected “Once We Loved.” A mini-medley of Burt Bacharach songs, “Windows of the World” and “Here I Am,” with its unusual chanting introduction, has also stood the test of time. Carla Bley’s “Ad Infinitum” delves briefly into the avant-garde but quickly reverts to post-bop –AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden

01. Steve Kuhn Trio – Watch What Happens (02:46)
02. Steve Kuhn Trio – Silver (02:13)
03. Steve Kuhn Trio – Lament / Once We Loved (06:53)
04. Steve Kuhn Trio – Tom Jones (06:37)
05. Steve Kuhn Trio – Windows of the World / Here I Am (04:17)
06. Steve Kuhn Trio – I Fall in Love Too Easily (04:04)
07. Steve Kuhn Trio – Ad Infinitum (08:56)

Steve Kuhn, piano
Palle Danielsson, bass
Jon Christensen, drums


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