Monday, March 15, 2010


Jazz pianist Joachim Kühn, was born on March 15, 1944, in Leipzig, Germany. Kühn was a musical prodigy and gave his debut as a concert pianist and studied classical piano and composition with Arthur Schmidt-Elsey. Influenced by his elder brother, clarinet-player Rolf Kuhn, he simultaneously got interested in jazz. In 1961 he became a professional jazz musician. With a trio of his own, founded in 1964, he presented the first free jazz in the GDR.

In 1966 he left the country and settled in Hamburg. Together with his brother he played at the Newport Jazz Festival and recorded with Jimmy Garrison for Bob Thiele's Impulse Records.

Living in Paris since 1968, Kühn worked with Don Cherry, Karl Berger, Slide Hamptom, Phil Woods, Michel Portal, Barre Phillips, Eje Thelin, Ray Lema and Jean-Luc Ponty. As a member of Pierre Courbois's Association P.C., he turned to electronic keyboards. During the second half of the 70's he lived in California and joined the West Coast fusion scene and recorded with Alphonse Mouzon, Billy Cabham,Michael Brecker, and Eddie Gomez.

Having settled near Paris again, he played in an acoustic trio with Jean-François Jenny Clark and Daniel Humair since 1985. During Summer 1996, he joined Ornette Coleman during two festival concerts at Verona and Leipzig festivals which opened the way for his Diminished Augmented System.
Parallel to his US-trio with bassist Scott Colley or Charnett Moffett and drummer Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez (the results are recorded on the album “Universal Time”, 2001), he created the European Trio with Jean-Paul Celea on bass and Wolfgang Reisinger on drums the (the 2005 CD “Poison” focuses on the theme of hallucinogenic drugs in jazz and rock songs).
The 1999 solo album “The Diminished Augmented System” presents Joachim Kühn's concept, which received the same name. “Allegro Vivace” (ACT 9750-2, 2005) in the ACT-Edition “Piano Works” contains his convincing and highly original interpretations of music by François Couperin, Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ornette Coleman, as well as his own compositions.
Kühn bridges the cultural divide together with oud virtuoso Rabih Abou Khalil and percussionist Jarrod Chagwin (2005 CD “Journey to the Centre of an Egg”). Moroccan Majid Bekkas, who sings and plays the bass-like African lute called guembri, and Spanish drummer Ramon Lopez, are Kühn’s partners in his latest trio (CD “Kalimba” ACT 9456-2, 2007).
In intense interaction, the three musicians have developed a sound that seems as far removed from the conventional piano trio format as Ornette Coleman is from traditional jazz, and yet this new band is a continuation of this history in a world of cultures moving closer to each other despite the ongoing conflicts.Joachim Kühn has reached a stage of maturity, and remains nonetheless open for new encounters.
Technique has long ceased to be a challenge. One of the great piano virtuosos of our time, he is no more interested in showing his chops. His focus is on communicating the depth of emotional experience. Joachim Kühn’s work is centred on the pure quality of the music.

Joachim Kuhn plays his jazz.

Reference - Wikipédia

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