Steve Kuhn: Beautiful Love
Steve Kuhn (piano)
Plays Standards (Venus TKCV-35395)
Composed by Victor Young, Wayne King & Egbert Van Alstyne.
Recorded: New York, August 30-31, 2006
Rating: 96/100 (learn more)
Steve Kuhn was briefly John Coltrane's pianist before McCoy Tyner, and later turned down an offer to join Miles Davis's band. (Kuhn was playing with Stan Getz at the time.) Now, at age 70, he appears to be finally coming into his own as both a player and a talent enjoying well-deserved and long overdue recognition, if the strongly positive reaction to Live at Birdland (2007) and Plays Standards (2008) is any indication.
"Beautiful Love" showcases Kuhn's impressionistic side, always one of his strengths. With his light, burnished touch, he delicately and deliberately interprets the romantic melody, at one point utilizing an exquisite trill that alone attests to his great skill and taste. Also capable of rollicking and adventurous improvisations, Kuhn here simply beguiles us with a more classically rooted, harmonically rich meditation. Williams and Foster are simply along for the ride, wisely ceding the spotlight to Kuhn.
Reviewer: Scott Albin