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Kunsman, Hinton and Bunch Releases

I’d never heard of Roman Kunsman until Wednesday, when one of his CDs showed up among the many discs received every day at the mighty JT. It’s great. It’s a Downtown Sound label disc called Heavy Skies, and it came packaged with three other CDs that are on Downtown Sound’s partner label, Chiaroscuro (more on those discs below).

Kunsman, who died in 2002, was a Russian-born reedist and Heavy Skies appears to be his only leader date. He plays flute and alto sax over tabla, drums, bass and Sun Ra-like keyboards. It’s highly reminiscent of the myriad Eastern-influenced discs that were rolling out like mad in the ’70s (it is a 1979 recording), but it also has that electronic thing going on. This is actually the album’s first release, I wonder if jazz crit champ Nat Hentoff ever got paid for the liner notes he wrote for the album in 1979, which are included with the CD.

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