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|Born||March 24, 1938|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Occupation(s)||Musician, composer, arranger, bandleader, educator|
|Labels||Impulse!, Buddha, ECM, Concord, Blue Note, Sunnyside, New World, Venus, MPS, Prestige|
Steve Kuhn (born March 24, 1938) is an American jazz pianist, composer, arranger, bandleader, and educator.
Kuhn was born in New York City, New York, to Carl and Stella Kuhn (née Kaufman), and was raised in Newton, Massachusetts. His parents were Hungarian-Jewish immigrants. At the age of five, he began studying piano 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 Chet Baker, Coleman Hawkins, Vic Dickenson, 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 Sheila 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".
In late 2022, Kuhn announced that he had retired from touring.
|Year recorded||Title||Label||Year released||Notes|
|1960||1960||PJL||2005||Trio, with Scott LaFaro (bass), Pete La Roca (drums)|
|1963||The Country and Western Sound of Jazz Pianos||Dauntless||1963||With Toshiko Akiyoshi (piano, cello), Barry Galbraith (guitar), David Izenzon and John Neves (bass), Pete La Roca (drums)|
|1966||Three Waves||Contact||1966||Trio, with Steve Swallow (bass), Pete La Roca (drums)|
|1966||The October Suite||Impulse!||1967||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||1968||Trio, with Palle Danielsson (bass), Jon Christensen (drums); also released as Steve Kuhn in Europe by Prestige|
|1969||Childhood Is Forever||BYG||1969||Trio, with Steve Swallow (bass), Aldo Romano (drums)|
|1971||Steve Kuhn||Buddah||1971||With Ron Carter (bass), Billy Cobham (drums), Airto Moreira (percussion), string quartet|
|1972||Steve Kuhn Live in New York||Cobblestone||1972||Quartet, with George Mraz (bass), Bruce Ditmas (drums), Sue Evans (percussion); in concert; also released as Raindrops by Muse|
|1974||Trance||ECM||1975||Quartet, with Steve Swallow (electric bass), Jack DeJohnette (drums), Sue Evans (percussion)|
|1977||Motility||ECM||1977||Quartet, with Steve Slagle (flute, soprano sax, alto sax), Harvie Swartz (bass), Michael Smith (drums)|
|1978||NonFiction||ECM||1978||Quartet, with Steve Slagle (flute, soprano sax, alto sax, percussion), Harvie Swartz (bass), Bob Moses (drums)|
|1979||Playground||ECM||1980||Quartet, with Harvie Swartz (bass), Bob Moses (drums), Sheila Jordan (vocals)|
|1981||Last Year's Waltz||ECM||1982||Quartet, with Harvie Swartz (bass), Bob Moses (drums), Sheila Jordan (vocals); in concert|
|1984||Mostly Ballads||Polydor||1986||Duo, with Harvie Swartz (bass)|
|1986||The Vanguard Date||Owl||1991||Trio, with Ron Carter (bass), Al Foster (drums); in concert|
|1986||Life's Magic||Black Hawk||1986||Trio, with Ron Carter (bass), Al Foster (drums); in concert|
|1988||Porgy||Jazz City||1989||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||1990||Trio, with Miroslav Vitouš (bass), Aldo Romano (drums)|
|1990||Looking Back||Concord||1990||Trio, with David Finck (bass), Lewis Nash (drums)|
|1990||Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Volume Thirteen||Concord||1990||Solo piano; in concert|
|1992||Years Later||Concord||1992||Trio, with David Finck (bass), Lewis Nash (drums)|
|1993-96||In Cafe||Tokuma||1997||Solo piano|
|1994||Live in Japan Vol.1 & Vol.2||PJL||2004||Co-leader duo with Steve Swallow (electric bass)|
|1994?||In the Shadows||Owl||1994||Co-leader with Carol Fredette (vocals)|
|1995||Remembering Tomorrow||ECM||1996||Trio, with David Finck (bass), Joey Baron (drums)|
|1995||Two by 2||Owl||1996||Co-leader duo with Steve Swallow (bass)|
|1995||Seasons of Romance||Postcards||1995||With Bob Mintzer (tenor sax), Tom Harrell (trumpet), George Mraz (bass), Al Foster (drums)|
|1997||Dedication||Reservoir||1998||Trio, with David Finck (bass), Billy Drummond (drums)|
|1997||Sing Me Softly of the Blues||Venus||1997||Trio, with George Mraz (bass), Pete La Roca (drums)|
|1998||Love Walked In||Venus||1998||Trio, with Buster Williams (bass), Bill Stewart (drums)|
|1998||Countdown||Reservoir||1999||Trio, with David Finck (bass), Billy Drummond (drums)|
|1999||The Best Things||Reservoir||2000||Most tracks trio, with David Finck (bass), Billy Drummond (drums); one track quartet, with Luciana Souza (vocals)|
|2000||Quiereme Mucho||Venus||2000||Trio, with David Finck (bass), Al Foster (drums)|
|2000||Promises Kept||ECM||2004||Trio, with David Finck (bass), strings|
|2001||Temptation||Venus||2001||Trio, with Buster Williams (bass), Billy Drummond (drums)|
|2002||Waltz - Blue Side||Venus||2002||Trio, with Gary Peacock (bass), Billy Drummond (drums)|
|2002||Waltz - Red Side||Venus||2002||Trio, with Eddie Gomez (bass), Billy Drummond (drums)|
|2004||Easy to Love||Venus||2004||Trio, with David Finck (bass), Billy Drummond (drums)|
|2005||Pavane for a Dead Princess||Venus||2006||Trio, with David Finck (bass), Billy Drummond (drums)|
|2006||Live at Birdland||Blue Note||2007||Trio, with Ron Carter (bass), Al Foster (drums); in concert|
|2006||Plays Standards||Venus||2007||Trio, with Buster Williams (bass), Al Foster (drums)|
|2007||Baubles, Bangles And Beads||Venus||2008||Trio, with David Finck (bass), Billy Drummond (drums)|
|2008||Mostly Coltrane||ECM||2009||Quartet, with Joe Lovano (tenor sax, tárogató), David Finck (bass), Joey Baron (drums)|
|2010||I Will Wait for You: The Music of Michel Legrand||Venus||2010||Trio, with George Mraz (bass), Billy Drummond (drums)|
|2011||Wisteria||ECM||2012||Trio, with Steve Swallow (electric bass), Joey Baron (drums)|
|2013||Break of Day||Meantime||2014||Co-leader with Karin Krog (vocals)|
|2015||At This Time...||Sunnyside||2016||Trio, with Steve Swallow (electric bass), Joey Baron (drums)|
|2017||To and From the Heart||Sunnyside||2018||Trio, with Steve Swallow (electric bass), Joey Baron (drums)|
- Life's Backward Glances (ECM, 2009) – Solo Piano, Trios, and Quartets with Steve Slagle or Sheila Jordan
- Essential Best (Venus, 2011)
With Stan Getz
- 1961: Recorded Fall 1961 with Bob Brookmeyer (Verve, 1961)
- 1961: At Birdland 1961 (Fresh Sound, 2012)
- 1963: Stan Getz With Guest Artist Laurindo Almeida with Laurindo Almeida (Verve, 1966)
With Steve Swallow
- David Darling, Cycles (ECM, 1982) – recorded in 1981
- Kenny Dorham, Jazz Contemporary (Time, 1960)
- Art Farmer, Sing Me Softly of the Blues (Atlantic, 1965)
- Don Heckman and Ed Summerlin, The Don Heckman–Ed Summerlin Improvisational Jazz Workshop (Ictus, 1967) – recorded in 1965–66
- Jameszoo, Fool (Brainfeeder, 2016)
- Sheila Jordan, Jazz Child (HighNote, 1997)
- Lee Konitz, Pony Poindexter, Phil Woods and Leo Wright, Alto Summit (MPS, 1968)
- Karin Krog, We Could Be Flying (Polydor, 1975)
- Charles McPherson, But Beautiful (Vinus, 2004) – recorded in 2003
- Bob Mintzer, Bop Boy with Eddie Gomez and Steve Gadd (Explore, 2002)
- Tisziji Munoz, Incomprehensibly Gone (Anami, 2013)
- Oliver Nelson, Sound Pieces (Impulse!, 1967) – recorded in 1966
- John Rae, Opus de Jazz 2 (Savoy, 1960)
- Pete La Roca, Basra (Blue Note, 1965)
- Pee Wee Russell and Henry "Red" Allen, The College Concert (Impulse!, 1966) – live
- Tessa Souter, Beyond The Blue (Vinus, 2012) – recorded in 2011
- ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 1410. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
- ^ Ullman, Michael (November 2018). "The Jazz Column". Fanfare. p. 582. ProQuest 2120136582.
I went from Lonnie Smith's alternatively mellow and raucous set, powered by a bashing drummer, to something quite different: pianist Steve Kuhn's trio. Raised in Newton, Massachusetts, Kuhn was grimly celebrating his 80th birthday.
- ^ ‘’https://www.freshsoundrecords.com/11723-steve-kuhn-albums Steve Kuhn, Fresh Sound Records
- ^ Derradji, Jerome (January 30, 2014). "Forgotten Classics: Steve Kuhn's Trance". Fact Magazine. Retrieved May 17, 2023.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac 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.
- ^ "Essential Best". Venus Records (in Japanese).
- 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)
- 1938 births
- Living people
- 20th-century American male musicians
- 20th-century American pianists
- 21st-century American male musicians
- 21st-century American pianists
- American jazz pianists
- American male pianists
- Free jazz pianists
- Harvard University alumni
- American male jazz musicians
- Cobblestone Records artists
- ECM Records artists
- Fresh Sounds Records artists
- Impulse! Records artists
- Muse Records artists
- Postcards Records artists
- Sunnyside Records artists
- Reservoir Records artists
- HighNote Records artists