Steve Kuhn is the pianist I turn to when I need unlimited beauty, which means I turn to him quite often.
Kuhn, a former child prodigy on piano with a distinctively strong-yet-tender touch, turned out to be the last pianist John Coltrane had a major working relationship with before McCoy Tyner came on the scene. Kuhn played with Coltrane for some time, but their work together was never recorded for release.
Steve Kuhn was a late discovery for me. One night last year I was listening to “Jazz Tonight,” a weeknight jazz show on my local NPR station back at my former home, when I heard Kuhn doing his rendition of John Coltrane’s “I Want To Talk About You” in a trio setting. Turned out this was a cut from Kuhn’s ECM album Mostly Coltrane, a tribute to Kuhn’s former boss made up largely of Coltrane compositions. This deeply moving performance inspired me to buy several of Kuhn’s piano trio albums. I’ve been spreading the word about him ever since.
“My Buddy,” with Eddie Gomez on bass and Billy Drummond on drums, is classic Steve Kuhn — melodic, deeply rhythmic, lush and crystalline at the same time.