Joachim KŸhn

COMPOSERS: Joachim Káhn
LABELS: Hybrid CD
ALBUM TITLE: Joachim Káhn
WORKS: Poison
PERFORMER: Joachim Kühn (piano, saxophone), Jean-Paul Celea (bass)Wolfgang Reisinger (drums, electronics)
CATALOGUE NO: IOR 77071-6
Eurojazz mainstay Kühn delivers what’s essentially two projects in one with this recording (or at least a lesser light might have wrung two releases out of the concept) which is both a themed collection of pieces on the subject of drugs and toxins and how they impinge on the artistic process, and a set including pop/rock standards given a jazz treatment.

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The former element is poetic in nature rather than being either eulogistic or judgemental, while the latter has been a trend in jazz for several years. The end result is listenable in a slightly odd way, as the deliberate banality of many of the tunes tends to turn them into something akin to classroom accompaniments until such time as the pianist’s creative instincts take over, whereupon they become perfectly convincing improvisational vehicles. Bafflingly, the CD layer seems to me to be sonically better than either of its SACD counterparts. Roger Thomas