Tim Kuhl: Ghost
Tim Kuhl (drums)
Ghost (WJF Records WJF003)
Tim Kuhl (drums),
Rick Parker (trombone), JC Kuhl (sax), Mark Aanderud, Nir Felder (guitars), Jeff Reed (bass).
Composed by Tim Kuhl.
Recorded: Richmond, VA, September 5, 2007
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
Sometimes it is hard to find an angle to write about in a review. I have written hundreds of thousands of words about music over the years in feature stories, columns, reviews and books. How many different ways can you say someone is a good drummer? Occasionally as an aid while listening, I will surf the Internet and read about whomever I am reviewing. This way something may grab me that wasn't grabbing me even a second earlier. In the case of drummer Tim Kuhl, I visited his "MySpace page" as I was putting on the cut "Ghost." I began listening and was amazed by all of the glorious confusion I was hearing. Kuhl seemed like two drummers. The music was headed in all directions at once. I thought this is really something far out. Then after about 20 seconds, I realized I was listening to the CD cut and another Kuhl piece that was playing from his MySpace page simultaneously. Oops. My bad.
After my initial and embarrassing excitement you may think I would be disappointed in hearing just one drummer at work. But that would not be the case. In addition to being a good drummer – what other way could I put it? – Kuhl is an exceptional composer. "Ghost" is pretty much a straight-ahead piece. But, though modern, it has a late-'50s film noir law enforcement vibe going for it. The subversive nature of Kuhl's piece captures perfectly the essence of a crooked cop on the beat. Perhaps one being actively haunted by an innocent man he killed? The band stretches out with some expressive playing from trombonist Rick Parker and saxophonist JC Kuhl before returning to the dramatic theme. The guys in this band can all play. But in the end I walk away with a story in my mind told to me in a way only a really talented composer could.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky