by Paul Burmeister

I am a lifelong listener, patient and careful, but still mostly an amateur regarding the art of jazz music. Among the sustaining satisfactions of appreciating an art form is discovery of personal favorites, especially those beyond reach of introductions and surveys. For example, my appreciation of the pianist Steve Kuhn (b. 1938.) Kuhn played with major figures (Dorham, Coltrane, Getz) early in his career, but I first discovered him as a leader on ECM dates. I like to think that anyone can find Art Tatum or McCoy Tyner or, if more than a little initiated, Jaki Byard or Fred Hersch. But even more work is required to find players such as Richie Beirach or Steve Kuhn. My recommendation here was triggered by the purchase of Kuhn's Seasons of Romance from 1995, a lively disc of alternating trio and quartet settings. Each listening reveals new pleasure.