Steve Kuhn (born March 24, 1938) is an American jazz pianist, composer, arranger, bandleader, and educator.
Kuhn at the 2017 Oslo Jazz Festival
|Born||March 24, 1938|
Brooklyn, New York
|Occupation(s)||Musician, composer, arranger, bandleader, educator|
|Labels||Impulse!, Buddha, ECM, Concord, Blue Note, Sunnyside, New World, Venus, MPS, Prestige|
Kuhn was born on March 24, 1938, in Brooklyn, New York City. He began studying piano at the age of five and studied under Boston piano teacher Margaret Chaloff, mother of jazz baritone saxophonist Serge Chaloff, who taught him the "Russian style" of piano playing. At an early age he began improvising classical music. As a teenager he appeared in jazz clubs in the Boston area with Coleman Hawkins, Vic Dickenson, Chet Baker, and Serge Chaloff.
After graduating from Harvard, he attended the Lenox School of Music where he was associated with Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, and Gary McFarland. The school's faculty included Bill Evans, George Russell, Gunther Schuller, and the members of the Modern Jazz Quartet. This allowed Kuhn to play, study, and create with some of the most forward-thinking innovators of jazz improvisation and composition; it culminated with his joining trumpeter Kenny Dorham's group for an extended time and (briefly) John Coltrane's quartet at New York's Jazz Gallery club.
Kuhn also has appeared with Stan Getz, Art Farmer, Oliver Nelson, Gary McFarland, Ron Carter, Scott LaFaro, Harvie Swartz, vocalist Shelia Jordan, Billy Drummond, David Finck, and Miroslav Vitous. From 1967 to 1971 Kuhn moved to Stockholm, Sweden where he worked with his own trio throughout Europe. In 1971 Kuhn moved back to New York City and formed a quartet but continued doing European gigs and appearing at the Newport Jazz Festival.
In his early years, Kuhn was known as an avant-garde jazz pianist. He was associated with bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Pete La Roca during the 1960s on several notable recordings: Three Waves, under Kuhn's leadership; Basra, under La Roca's leadership, which also featured Joe Henderson; and Sing Me Softly of the Blues under flugelhornist Art Farmer's leadership. Also notable was Kuhn's inclusion in the quartet on the landmark recording Sound Pieces led by saxophonist, composer, and arranger Oliver Nelson and including Ron Carter on bass and Grady Tate on drums. Among other critically acclaimed recordings there was The October Suite composed by Gary McFarland for Kuhn and an ensemble which included strings, woodwinds, and reeds. The Promises Kept album features Kuhn's compositions, piano, and strings.
For decades, Steve Kuhn has led all-star trios that have included such players as bassists Ron Carter and David Finck, and drummers Al Foster, Jack DeJohnette, and Joey Baron. He has had several live recordings made in some of New York's leading jazz clubs. Kuhn is also the composer of the jazz standard "The Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers".
On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Steve Kuhn among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.
|1963?||The Country and Western Sound of Jazz Pianos||Dauntless||With Toshiko Akiyoshi (piano, cello), Barry Galbraith (guitar), David Izenzon and John Neves (bass), Pete La Roca (drums)|
|1966?||Three Waves||Contact||Trio, with Steve Swallow (bass), Pete La Roca (drums)|
|1966||The October Suite||Impulse!||Co-led with Gary McFarland (conductor); with Isadore Cohen and Matthew Raimondi (violin), Alfred Brown (viola), Charles McCracken (violincello), Ron Carter (bass), Marty Morell (drums)|
|1968||Watch What Happens!||MPS||Trio, with Palle Danielsson (bass), Jon Christensen (drums); also released as Steve Kuhn in Europe by Prestige|
|1969||Childhood Is Forever||BYG||Trio, with Steve Swallow (bass), Aldo Romano (drums)|
|1971||Steve Kuhn||Buddah||With Ron Carter (bass), Billy Cobham (drums), Airto Moreira (percussion), string quartet|
|1972||Steve Kuhn Live in New York||Cobblestone||Quartet, with George Mraz (bass), Bruce Ditmas (drums), Sue Evans (percussion); in concert; also released as Raindrops by Muse|
|1974||Trance||ECM||Quartet, with Steve Swallow (electric bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums), Sue Evans (percussion)|
|1977||Motility||ECM||Quartet, with Steve Slagle (flute, soprano sax, alto sax), Harvie Swartz (bass), Michael Smith (drums)|
|1978||NonFiction||ECM||Quartet, with Steve Slagle (flute, soprano sax, alto sax, percussion), Harvie Swartz (bass), Bob Moses (drums)|
|1979||Playground||ECM||Quartet, with Harvie Swartz (bass), Bob Moses (drums), Sheila Jordan (vocals)|
|1981||Last Year's Waltz||ECM||Quartet, with Harvie Swartz (bass), Bob Moses (drums), Sheila Jordan (vocals); in concert|
|1984||Mostly Ballads||New World||Duo, with Harvie Swartz (bass)|
|1986||The Vanguard Date||Owl||Trio, with Ron Carter (bass), Al Foster (drums); in concert|
|1986||Life's Magic||Black Hawk||Trio, with Ron Carter (bass), Al Foster (drums); in concert|
|1988||Porgy||Jazz City||Most tracks trio, with Eddie Gómez and Buster Williams (bass; separately), Al Foster (drums); some tracks quartet, with Laura Anne Taylor (vocals) added|
|1989||Oceans in the Sky||Owl||Trio, with Miroslav Vitouš (bass), Aldo Romano (drums)|
|1990||Looking Back||Concord||Trio, with David Finck (bass), Lewis Nash (drums)|
|1990||Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Volume Thirteen||Concord||Solo piano; in concert|
|1992||Years Later||Concord||Trio, with David Finck (bass), Lewis Nash (drums)|
|1995||Remembering Tomorrow||ECM||Trio, with David Finck (bass), Joey Baron (drums)|
|1995||Seasons of Romance||Postcards||With Bob Mintzer (tenor sax), Tom Harrell (trumpet), George Mraz (bass), Al Foster (drums)|
|1997||Dedication||Reservoir||Trio, with David Finck (bass), Billy Drummond (drums)|
|1998||Love Walked In||Venus||Trio, with Buster Williams (bass), Bill Stewart (drums)|
|1998||Countdown||Reservoir||Trio, with David Finck (bass), Billy Drummond (drums)|
|1999||The Best Things||Reservoir||Most tracks trio, with David Finck (bass), Billy Drummond (drums); one track quartet, with Luciana Souza (vocals)|
|2000?||Promises Kept||ECM||With David Finck (bass), strings|
|2006||Live at Birdland||Blue Note||Trio, with Ron Carter (bass), Al Foster (drums); in concert|
|2008||Mostly Coltrane||ECM||Quartet, with Joe Lovano (tenor sax, tárogató), David Finck (bass), Joey Baron (drums)|
|2011||Wisteria||ECM||Trio, with Steve Swallow (electric bass), Joey Baron (drums)|
|2016?||At This Time...||Sunnyside||Trio, with Steve Swallow (electric bass), Joey Baron (drums)|
- 2009 Life's Backward Glances (ECM): Solo Piano, Trios, and Quartets with Steve Slagle or Sheila Jordan
- 1960 Kenny Dorham: Jazz Contemporary (Time)
- 1960 John Rae: Opus de Jazz 2 (Savoy)
- 1961 Stan Getz: Recorded Fall 1961 (Verve) with Bob Brookmeyer, Roy Haynes
- 1963 Stan Getz & Laurindo Almeida: Stan Getz With Guest Artist Laurindo Almeida (Verve)
- 1965 Art Farmer: Sing Me Softly of the Blues (Atlantic)
- 1965 Pete La Roca: Basra (Blue Note)
- 1966 Oliver Nelson: Sound Pieces (Impulse!)
- 1966 Pee Wee Russell and Henry "Red" Allen: The College Concert (Impulse!)
- 1967 Don Heckman and Ed Summerlin: The Don Heckman-Ed Summerlin Improvisational Jazz Workshop (Ictus)
- 1968 Lee Konitz, Pony Poindexter, Phil Woods and Leo Wright: Alto Summit (MPS)
- 1979 Steve Swallow: Home (ECM)
- 1981 David Darling: Cycles (ECM)
- 1991 Steve Swallow: Swallow (XtraWATT)
- 1997 Sheila Jordan: Jazz Child (HighNote)
- 2013 Tisziji Munoz: Incomprehensibly Gone (Anami)
- Rosen, Jody (25 June 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
- Fitzgerald, Michael (May 13, 2013). "Steve Kuhn Discography". jazzdiscography.com. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
- Collar, Matt. "Steve Kuhn: The Vanguard Date". AllMusic. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
- Chinen, Nate (March 16, 2016). "Review: The Steve Kuhn Trio's New Album Offers Heat and Intimacy". The New York Times.
- Steve Kuhn discography at JazzDiscography.com
- Steve Kuhn on ECM Records
- Steve Kuhn at SunnysideRecords.com
- Interview with Steve Kuhn
- Steve Kuhn in-studio performance from WGBH Radio Boston
- NY Times -- Steve Kuhn: Revisiting an Old Boss Named John Coltrane
- Steve Kuhn Interview NAMM Oral History Library (1997)