Rolf Kühn

Big Band Connection

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As noted in the brief liner notes, clarinetist Rolf Kuhn utilizes the same instrumentation on this CD as the 1938 Benny Goodman big band (except for the lack of a rhythm guitar), but the orchestra (arranged by Rob Pronk and Barry Ross) actually sounds much closer to Count Basie's in the 1960s than to Goodman's. Kuhn draws his players from The NDR Big Band. Unfortunately, except for short spots (most notably on "Sister Sadie"), little is heard from his sidemen except in anonymous ensembles; altoist Herb Geller pops up just twice while pianist Fritz Pauer and trombonist Joe Gallardo make stronger impressions. Rolf Kuhn is a talented bop-oriented soloist and has several fine solos, but overall these swinging renditions of tunes such as "Sweet Georgia Brown," "Autumn Leaves" and "Satin Doll" are very safe, middle-of-the-road and without any real surprises.

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