Piano Works, Vol. 9: Live at Schloss Elmauby Joachim Kühn
When Joachim Kühn decided to participate in a two-piano concert at Schloss Elmau on September 10, 2008, he could have found another veteran pianist to perform duos with. Kühn, who was 64 at the time, could have found another acoustic pianist who had been part of the German jazz scene since the 1960s. But instead, he went the trans-generational route and joined forces with the younger acoustic pianist Michael Wollny, who turned 30 in 2008. It was a wise decision; not only does having two German jazz pianists from different generations playing side by side on-stage bring with it a strong intrigue factor, but also, Kühn and Wollny clearly inspire one another. This 53-minute CD ranges from two Kühn pieces ("Seawalk" and "The Colours of the Wind") to two Wollny pieces ("Elmau" and "Hexentanz") to a piece they wrote together ("Encore") to an interesting arrangement of Johann Sebastian Bach's "Chaconne." The inclusion of a Bach gem makes perfect sense given Kühn's classical leanings; European classical music has been influencing his post-bop and avant-garde jazz for a long time, and there is no reason why he shouldn't bring "Chaconne" into a jazz-oriented environment. Kühn and Wollny don't play together on all of the material; Wollny plays alone on "Elmau," while Kühn is unaccompanied on "Chaconne." But they play together on the other four selections, and their rapport is strong. This enjoyable post-bop disc, which sometimes ventures into mildly avant-garde territory, makes one hope that Kühn and Wollny will be reunited in the future.
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