Daniel Humair / Jean-François Jenny-Clark / Joachim Kühn

Die Dreigroschenoper

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While the music of Kurt Weill has been frequently recorded by jazz musicians, most of the songs on this trio date, other than the well-known "Mack the Knife," are not commonly performed in a jazz setting (one early exception was the album by the Sextet of Orchestra, USA). Pianist Joachim Kuhn is joined by his frequent bandmates, Jean-François Jenny-Clark on bass and drummer Daniel Humair, for this introspective and very entertaining examination of eight songs from Weill's The Threepenny Opera. "Pirate Jenny" is a driving hard bop performance that becomes quite intense, while the dark "Mr. Peacham's Morning Hymn" begins with a long exchange between Humair and Jenny-Clark, before it slows down for Kuhn's entry. "Solomon's Song" is a delicate waltz with a few dissonant twists added. "Love Song" is a bittersweet ballad made even more poignant by the trio's interpretation. Kuhn frees himself from the rhythmic boundaries of the original score of "Mack the Knife" almost immediately, turning it into a long free improvisation piece featuring each member of the group in turn before eventually returning to its theme. Fans of post-bop and avant-garde will best appreciate the adventurous music within this highly recommended CD, though it may be somewhat difficult to find.

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