Steve Kuhn

Three Waves

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Predictable is not an adjective associated with the recordings of pianist Steve Kuhn. He is joined by bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Pete La Roca for this exciting studio session from the mid-1960s, both of whom he had worked with under Art Farmer, as well as on La Roca's smashing debut as a leader, Basra. With the exception of "Ida Lupino" and "Never Let Me Go," the music will likely be unfamiliar to most jazz fans, but adventurous souls are in for a treat. Kuhn's originals include the furious modal work "Bits and Pieces," which sounds as if it represents the center of a storm, as well as "Today I Am a Man," which suggests a well-known composition from the heyday of the bop era. "Why Did I Choose You" is played with a soft bossa nova accent, while Sergio Mihanovich's "Three Waves" is intense, with overlapping changes of rhythm. "Never Let Me Go," a favorite of singers, is understated and subtle, only hinting briefly at the melody. Originally issued on LP by the long-defunct Contact label, and briefly available as a Flying Dutchman reissue, BMG in Japan has since released a CD version.

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