Steve Kuhn

Motility

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This is one of Steve Kuhn's more unusual studio sessions, which was recorded for ECM in 1977. At times, the pianist seems less like a post-bop musician and more like someone dabbling in new age music, especially in his opener, "The Rain Forest." But his formidable technique is quickly brought center stage, so the deceptively mellow setting, with Steve Slagle's birdlike flute and Michael Smith's sparse percussion, develops into something tantalizing, even though it seems unlikely that it could be played in a nightclub. The swirling theme of "Oceans in the Sky" suggests an intense summer downpour, while "Motility" is a wild vehicle swerving back and forth through several genres. Bassist Harvie Swartz contributed the exotic "Catherine" (a piece that never seems to go where one expects) and the Latin-flavored "Places I've Never Been." This long unavailable LP may be somewhat difficult to acquire.

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