Steve Kuhn

Temptation

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Steve Kuhn mixes standards and forgotten gems in these 2001 studio sessions with bassist Buster Williams and drummer Billy Drummond. Beginning with a tantalizing take of "Temptation" that has a slight Latin undercurrent, Kuhn finds new directions in these timeless pieces. "Dark Eyes" is another gem that has long fallen out of favor, though Kuhn's intricate workout demonstrates that there is plenty of life left in this decades-old warhorse. His treatment of Michel Legrand's "The Summer Knows" (written as theme music for the early-'70s film Summer of '42) is a bit jagged rather than the usual setting as a straight, slow, bittersweet ballad. John Lewis' "Django" has long been a favorite of jazz musicians, and the trio's elegant setting opens with an imaginative improvisation, slowly working into its well-known theme. Kuhn's sole original, "A Likely Story," is a driving post-bop vehicle that never runs out of steam. It's hard to go wrong by purchasing any Steve Kuhn CD, and this is among his best dates.

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