This trio session by Steve Kuhn includes classical works and pieces adapted into pop songs decades ago. He initially studied classical music as a young man with the mother of baritone saxophonist Serge Chaloff, so he is well grounded in the music. With bassist Dave Finck and Billy Drummond accompanying him, Kuhn's driving, boppish treatments of "Till the End of Time" (based upon Chopin's Polonaise No. 53) and "Stranger in Paradise" (taken from Borodin's Plovetzian Dance) sizzle with energy. His vibrant waltz setting of Erik Satie's Gymnopedie No. 1 is far removed from the Impressionist composer's minimalist conception, with Finck's arco bass solo adding an interesting touch. Borodin's "Baubles, Bangles and Beads" was a favorite of baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan during the 1950s; the trio's introspective approach works equally well. While classical listeners who are unfamiliar with jazz may have reservations, jazz fans will savor these outstanding performances.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden