Around the same time in 1966 that pianist Steve Kuhn made The October Suite with Gary McFarland (see the post two items down), he was one of a more or less impromptu intergenerational group. Kuhn played a college concert with two of his contemporaries, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Marty Morell, all in their twenties. They accompanied the headliners, two of the music’s brilliant eccentrics. Trumpeter Red Allen was only 58, clarinetist Pee Wee Russell 60, but they had been around since shortly after jazz began, honing styles so personal that no one has ever been able to imitate them. The concert ended up on an album long out of print and never reissued as a CD. If you’re lucky, you might find a used copy. Here is “Blue Monk.”
Haden continues as leader of his busy Quartet West. Morell’s career has covered classical percussion as well jazz drumming with the Bill Evans Trio and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Kuhn records often and performs frequently at clubs and festivals, as he did slightly less than a year ago at the Festival Bach de Montréal. J.S. Bach, the old improviser, might have been pleased at Kuhn’s insertion of bebop quotes into his minuet. Aidan O’Donnell is the bassist, Billy Drummond the drummer.