Kühn and Krugler ‘Duo Art: Moscow’ (ACT) 3/5

Kühn-KruglerAs part of the new duet series initiated by ACT, comes the pairing of pianist Joachim Kühn and Russian alto saxophonist Alexey Kruglov. In actual fact the duet came about as a result of Kühn being invited to perform two concerts in Russia. A contact and friend, Russian author and jazz writer, Marc Samozy suggested Kühn meet Kruglov and in spite of the thirty-five years separating them in age, the two decided to perform together that very evening. The present album was recorded in just four hours which means that almost all the music was recorded as first takes adding to the spontaneity of proceedings. Six of the eight compositions are originals with the two remaining pieces being Ornette Coleman numbers. In general there music is quite melodic in nature as exemplified by ‘Waltz for you’ which is mainly a vehicle for pianist Kühn with Kruglov in a largely supportive role whereas ‘Because of loud’ is more equally distributed in weighting with a joint stating of the main theme and thereafter becoming significantly freer in form. On the opener ‘Poet’ the two musicians go through a variety of contrasting moods, but Kruglov’s playing in particular is relaxed here. Not surprisingly of the two Coleman numbers, ‘Researching has no limits’ is a complex piece that becomes increasingly abstract before returning to some semblance of normality. Kruglov’s influences include Jan Garbarek and are certainly more European in scope than Transatlantic. An interesting pairing of musical minds and one that should be repeated. Tim Stenhouse