Steve Kuhn (piano), Steve Swallow (bass), and Joey Baron (drums)...all three legends and giants of the jazz world, and all three having strong personal & musical relationships with each other for many, many years, yet Wisteria is the first time the three have recorded together as a trio. Thankfully, longtime ECM recording artist Kuhn finally made that happen, as Wisteria is a wonderful albums that shows these three veterans not only at the top of their craft but able to work extremely well together.
With a mixture of old & new original Kuhn pieces, and some covers, Wisteria is a swingin', groovin' good time from start to finish. "Adagio" and "Morning Dew" move with wonderous grace, as Kuhn's tasty, memorable melodies take the listener along an intoxicating ride, with Swallow and Baron providing, elastic yet deep grooves underneath. Carla Bley's "Permanent Waves" sees the pianist deliver some stunningly complex yet gorgeous lines, while Baron's tricky fills drive the upbeat "A Likely Story", a Kuhn original that's one of the standout numbers here. Swallow's almost 'guitar-like' upper register lead notes highlight the tender "Pastorale", and the classy, slightly brooding "Promises Kept" sees Kuhn taking the sultry road with his warm and inviting piano melodies. The trio closes out the show with the acrobatic "Good Lookin' Rookie", another upbeat, fun number that will have you tapping your feet along to the quirky, complex melodies.
Here's hoping that Wisteria isn't the last time these three musicians record together as a trio. For jazz lovers, there's a lot to love here.
3) Morning Dew;
5) Permanent Wave;
6) A Likely Story;
9) Dark Glasses;
10) Promises Kept;
11) Good Lookin' Rookie