Steve Kuhn Trio Wisteria

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Joey Baron,Steve Kuhn,Steve Swallow
LABELS: ECM
ALBUM TITLE: Wisteria
WORKS: Studio works
PERFORMER: Steve Kuhn (piano), Steve Swallow (bass), Joey Baron (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: 1206136

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This release is too long, of course, as are most jazz CDs and piano trio CDs in particular, but few other such groupings could manage to offset this with the flow and mobility present in this music.

The trio pivots around Steve Kuhn, who has worked with both Swallow and Baron individually and who now brings the bassist and drummer together in what, in retrospective terms, might seem an improbable combination given their early histories in concert hall jazz and the downtown loft respectively.

But Baron has long since evolved into an all-situations performer while Swallow’s animated, capricious style is lively enough to operate in any number of contexts. Indeed, in this one it’s his nimble electric bass, woven into Kuhn’s mellifluously imaginative pianism, that adds a perky charm to the proceedings, with his fifth B string also allowing him to double as a frontline soloist. The usual ECM sonic excellence applies.

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Roger Thomas