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A great jazz piano disc from Joachim Kuhn


Joachim Kuhn New Trio, "Beauty and Truth" (ACT)

From 1996 to 2000, Ornette Coleman played extensively with German pianist Joachim Kuhn. They recorded together and Kuhn's time with Ornette gave this disc its miniature opening title tune. As for the rest of this, that association tells you nothing about a pianist who plays, on this, two songs by the Doors ("The End" and "Riders on the Storm") and, all through the acoustic trio disc, rock backbeats and pounding ostinatos. The result is somewhere midway between classic Ramsey Lewis and McCoy Tyner with a sprinkle of demonic Cecil Taylor splatter piano for expressionist seasoning.

If you ask me, it all beats the heck out of The Bad Plus.

It ends with a gorgeous eight and a half minute version of Gil Evans'  "Blues for Pablo" about which, says Kuhn, "the secret of that piece lies in just five notes but they are the key to unlock a whole musical cosmos." "Sleep Safe and Warm" is from the music to Polanski's film "Rosemary's Baby." His bassist is Chris Jennings and his drummer is Eric Schaefer. A great jazz piano disc.

3 1/2 stars (out of four)


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