Steve Kuhn

Ecstasy

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Steve Kuhn performs five unaccompanied originals on this 1974 studio session recorded in Norway. "Silver," his fascinating opener, is a haunting ballad with many faces, occasionally mysterious, but generally shimmering. "Prelude in G" features Kuhn's wide-ranging right hand (bordering on avant-garde at times) over a fairly steady vamp. "Ulla" is yet another lovely ballad, though the mood changes with a series of single repeated notes and chords in the second half of the piece, possibly symbolizing the passing of time and the fading of a love affair. "Thoughts of a Gentleman/The Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers" seems like a title more suitable to a Dave Frishberg composition, but this extended work is anything but tongue in cheek. "Life's Backward Glance" mixes avant-garde and post-bop, with a somewhat classical flavor. Beautifully recorded by engineer Jan Erik Kongshaug, this out of print ECM LP is well worth seeking.

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