Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Steve Kuhn: Love Walked In

The only thing predictable about Steve Kuhn is his unpredictability. On Love Walked In (Sunnyside) he digs playing neglected treasures, such as Duke Jordan’s “No Problem”; he will take an overexposed standard, like “Autumn Leaves,” and meticulously avoid its melody; he will not only approach the other Duke’s “Prelude to a Kiss” as a bossa nova but mischievously infuse its second eight with “‘Tis Autumn”; and while you’re still pondering that surprise, he confronts Irving Berlin’s cornball waltz “All Alone” and morphs it into a way-up, straightahead 4/4. Were it not for Kuhn’s dazzling technique and musical intelligence, he might have been outsmarted by Berlin: “All Alone” may hold up in 3/4, but it simply does not “lay well” as a swinger, so Kuhn has some fun with it, interpolating “As Time Goes By,” “Goofus” and even part of a Carmen aria.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published