Trance, Steve Kuhn's second recording for ECM, was actually recorded a mere ten days after Ecstasy, his solo piano debut for the label. Trance features Kuhn playing both electric and acoustic piano, bassist Steve Swallow, drummer Jack DeJohnette, and percussionist Sue Evans. Two of the album's compositions, "Silver" and "Life's Backward Glance," are re-recordings of tunes appearing on Ecstasy. Adventurous and wide open, Trance is a mixed bag full of knots, twists, and turns. While firmly in the jazz idiom, Kuhn also draws on classical sources (check his solo in "Squirt"), drawing on Luciano Berio and Olivier Messiaen as well as Cecil Taylor. Performed on electric piano, "Silver" is a chugging, repetitive riff with a Latin rhythm, and Kuhn swings it like mad as Swallow's bass pops and spits along the melodic line as well as the rhythmic undertone. This is jazz that touches on fusion, modal, and the new spirit of the music as ECM came into the 1970s as a player. There is restlessness and calm, tempestuousness and serenity, conflict and resolution, and -- above all -- creativity and vision.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek