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Registrazioni giugno e settembre 2002 - Lullaby, Life’s Backward Glance, Trance, Morning Dew, Promises Kept, Adagio, Celtic Princess, Nostalgia, Oceans In The Sky, Pastorale Carlos Franzetti, direttore; David Fink, contrabbasso; String Ensemble
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Cet album ambitieux se révèle superbe ,bravo et merci !
on en redemande ...
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
"But then you go and mix these things together and, well, they don't wanna mix. Here I'm thinking of many of the musics labeled "Third Stream". This was jazz mixed with classical. In its more knotty forms it was a load of fun. But sometimes, that stuff just didn't want to be blended and the result was dense, turgid and waaaay too serious."
"There are of course, counterexamples in jazz. Take Charlie Parker with Strings. It's basically flawless. I mean, it is Charlie Parker."
"So, you might be thinking: Steve Kuhn? Yea, not exactly a household name to the casual jazz fan. This is too bad though, as Kuhn has written some fantastic music over the years and has played and recorded with an impressive list of jazz stars including Kenny Dorham, John Coltrane, Stan Getz, Art Farmer, Steve Swallow, Tom Harrell and Joey Baron."
"Promises Kept features seven new compositions written with string arrangements in mind, as well as three older Kuhn pieces reworked for that context. What makes this album 'work' is Kuhn's romantic & expressive melodies and chord structures. The melodies, with Kuhn at the piano, really do 'tell a story'. So much so that the string arrangements fit effortlessly. This was not accidental. From Bob Blumenthal's (excellent as always) liner notes:
While the rhythmic power of his music is represented by "Trance" and "Oceans in the Sky", it is the emotion in Kuhn's melodies that is the focal point here. "As I've gotten older and gone through deaths and losses, as well as open heart surgery, and at the same time come to appreciate the love and the positive influences in my life, I find myself responding more emotionally."
"Kuhn goes on to say that the strings seem to bring out the emotion in the music. I couldn't agree more. This is a sort of musical travelog through Steve Kuhn's life. It obviously means a lot to him, but we can all take something from it."
Posted on Mark Is Cranky
in the realm of 'instrumental' like the great arrangers like Nelson Riddle, Billy May, and such, but also contemporary.
Kuhn also reworks some of his earlier pieces to fit format
well. Great at what it is IMO.
A prime example of the appeal of this recording is the third cut, "Trance." This tune is familiar to Kuhn fans from other sessions, but on this outing, Kuhn seems to be imbuing his playing with an extra measure of expressiveness, ably supported by the deep, expressive bass notes from Finck, and the wistful but never overly sentimental playing of the string ensemble. On the next cut, "Morning Dew," you get to hear Kuhn's remarkable ability to "separate his hands," by which I mean he is able to make his left hand and right hand seem to be playing entirely separately from each other, almost as if belonging to two pianists, both of whom are listening to each other and striving to serve the overall purpose and direction of the music.
Another real treat from this recording is the augmented version of "Oceans in the Sky," a composition that Kuhn has often included in his albums. This time around, Fink's bass and the string ensemble provide the opening notes, with Kuhn soon joining in exuberantly to swing the main melody. Although it seems strange at first to hear this familiar piece without drums, it is fascinating and rewarding to hear the familiar melody in this different setting.
If, like me, you might be hesitant to pick up a jazz album featuring a string section, let me assure you that if you are a Steve Kuhn fan, you will gain a greater appreciation for his artistry by listening to this release. It casts a different light upon several of his familiar compositions, thus revealing another expressive dimension of his musical artistry.
With more potholes than the Ike in March, a piano-bass-strings outing presents a way-dicey proposition.
But veteran piano meister and the intrepid lads at ECM are more than up to the task.
First things first.
ECM may be on their most sustained roll since the founding of the company well over three decades ago.
Stellar releases from Thomasz Stanko, Arild Andersen (really, as much a Vassilis Tsabropoulos release as one from the putative bassist-leader), Marilyn Crispell, John Abercrombie--and now, Steve Kuhn.
Can anybody else top that? No one, I'm thinking, with the possible exception of Palmetto (Frahm/Mehldau, David Berkman, Fred Hersch, and Medicine Wheel).
But the sheer gorgeousness, musicality, and even chutzpah of ECM trumps Palmetto, if just barely.
What makes the ECM releases so special is their ravishing romanticism, pulled off, one must say, against all odds.
These discs from ECM are in that category, analogous to some stunningly beautiful women, of you're not allowed to look like that. You know what I mean, you guys out there (and, truth be told, you gals, too).
And Steve Kuhn's disc is the most beautiful of all.
Like I said earlier, this disc is disaster city if it ain't pulled off: cloying, unlistenable, saccharine strings desperately seeking to bolster wimped-out pianisms.
But Kuhn's just too great an artist to let that happen. A composer displaying grit and backbone, as well as ravishing romanticism, in his all-original compositions, he's given himself into the hands of brilliant interpreters here (notably, Carlo Franzetti, arranger, and the incredibly sensitive and responsive string ensemble).
The result is gorgeous melodicism situated in the context of finely wrought structure: like the most carefully crafted Belgian beer set down on lees, coming out of its decades-old aged bottle in finest fettle.
This is what happens when a visionary (in this case, Manfred Eicher, president of ECM) plies his trade, perfects his concept, and then serendipitously encounters magnanimity in his greatest artists--
Simply spectacular, and not to be found anywhere else.