Beauty & Truth
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Joachim Kuhn is a German pianist of world class, and a stand-alone figure in European jazz. He shows absolutely no signs either of slackening or of surrendering to his age- he is in his early seventies. Kuhn’s musical curiosity is as boundless as it always was, and his urge to keep creating new music is undimmed. It seems as if for him to stand still would be to go backwards. He lives in a finca in a remote part of Ibiza, overlooking the Mediterranean, where he is to be found either at the piano or dipping into his vast library of music. For “Beauty & Truth” he and producer Siggi Loch have made a selection of new and old pieces, reaching out into unfamiliar repertoire, and recorded them with the new trio. “These are strong melodies which can be given a really distinctive shape, like for example Blues for Pablo by Gil Evans,” he explains. “The secret of that piece lies in just five notes, but they are the key to unlock a whole musical cosmos.” Kuhn’s original compositions on “Beauty & Truth” captivate the listener with catchy melodies with the character of earworms, which serve as jumping-off points for his improvising adventures. There is “Because of Mouloud,” which ahs becoming something of a Joachim Kuhn hit. There is also “Transmitting,” a spacious tune which hovers, trance-like. In the twelve pieces on “Beauty & Truth” a different Joachim Kuhn can be heard: his piano playing is powerful and clear, and musically he has a way of going straight to the heart of the matter. He is always solidly grounded in the groove, he plays with unconfined joy and with buckets of soul, too, as he always did.