German pianist Joachim Kühn could have had a career in classical music had he not developed an enthusiasm for jazz under the influence of his older brother, clarinetist Rolf Kühn.
After leaving his natal Leipzig, then still under communist yoke, the young Bach fan arrived in Paris in 1968 in the midst of the free jazz movement. His meetings with Don Cherry, Aldo Romano, Gato Barbieri, Archie Shepp, and Roswell Rudd were determining. Transcending borders, he alternated between duos with Ornette Coleman, encounters with young classical pianist Michael Wollny, and the Mediterranean trio he formed with Ramon Lopez and Majid Bekkas.
On Free Ibiza, this key figure of the European jazz scene lays bare the qualities that were already obvious on his first solo recording from 1971. Romantic, passionate, introspective, and sometimes demonstrative, Joachim Kühn manages to attain a kind of serenity—his Ibiza is not that of DJs and high-level decibels.