Tim Kuhl: Nemesis




Tim Kuhl (drums)


Ghost (WJF Records)

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Tim Kuhl (drums),

Rick Parker (trombone), JC Kuhl (tenor sax), Mark Aanderrud (piano), Nir Felder (guitar), Jeff Reed (bass)


Composed by Tim Kuhl


Recorded: Richmond, VA 2007


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Once upon a time in the '60s, back in the freewheeling days of modal jazz, there came an experimental record label named Embryo. Its albums were easily identified by uniform, stark white jackets framing enigmatic, high-quality black-and-white head shots of the individual artists, who were given free reign to play whatever they wanted, no matter how bizarre. The musicians frequently explored new territory and listeners were occasionally treated to new frontiers. I remember spending hours listening to Miroslav Vitous's Infinite Search. Where has that spirit gone?

It may very well have gone here. This track is a striking reminder of the kind of music Herbie Mann's fledgling record company had the guts to record. The languid, spacey composition features a decidedly abstract, introspective bass solo that is both moving and enticing. Mark Aanderrud's piano and JC Kuhl's tenor gently intervene, expanding the changes without clobbering a listener on the head. Not everybody's cup of java, perhaps, but Tim Kuhl's "Nemesis" is a calming sojourn to the cerebral era of free jazz, when contemplation, dissonance and space were not considered dirty words.

Reviewer: Bill Barnes

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