|Oceans in the Sky is a trio album recorded in Paris in September, 1989, by pianist Steve Kuhn with bassist Miroslav Vitous and drummer Aldo Romano. Originally issued by the French Owl label, it's just been released on CD in the U.S. by Sunnyside and is a beautiful album of standards and originals.
Miroslav Vitous was the first bass player for Weather Report and has recorded with Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter and on his own. He's recorded infrequently over the last few decades, but has just released a new album, Universal Syncopations, on ECM. And Aldo Romano is a top European drummer who was awarded the prestigious Jazzpar prize for 2004.
Kuhn has been playing for many years. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Kuhn recorded as a sideman for Kenny Dorham, Stan Getz and Joe Henderson and was Coltrane's first pianist (before Coltrane hired McCoy Tyner). Kuhn did a beautiful album with Gary McFarland for Impulse!, The October Suite and then recorded albums for a variety of labels before a stretch with ECM in the mid to late-1970s, many of which haven't yet made it to CD (although I've heard the ECM will be issuing CDs of several of these in 2004). He also formed a partnership with singer Sheila Jordan. (They recorded several albums for ECM and, more recently, Little Song, which was released earlier this year by HighNote.) More recently, Kuhn has concentrated on trio recordings of standards (and some originals) for a variety of labels, including several for the Japanese Venus label. Steve Kuhn has recorded a new album with strings called Promises Kept that will be out in early 2004 from ECM.
Kuhn's playing combines the harmonic richness of Bill Evans with the more direct approach of Bud Powell. On 1989's Oceans in the Sky, Kuhn demonstrates both his boppish side with his reading of Kenny Dorham's "" and his impressionistic side with Debussy's "La PlusQue Lente" which flows into Duke Ellington's "Passion Flower."