Quiescence and awakening. Tradition and innovation. Body and soul. Rolf Kühn finds such opposing forces attractive. With his new album "Yellow + Blue", the 88-year-old clarinetist once again improvises and swings his way through uncharted musical territory.
"Europe's greatest clarinetist and free spirit" (Jazzthetik) plays ballads and legendary love songs on his new MPS album. In so doing, he delivers new meaning and a fresh sound to the pieces. A sentimental look back is simply not his thing. Together with his new quartet of pianist Frank Chastenier, bassist Lisa Wulff, and percussionist Tupac Mantilla, Kühn contrasts his sensitive side with his unbridled desire to experiment.
"I've chosen some of my favorite ballads for this album. These pieces have nothing to do with any sort of trend. For me, they are poignant and beautiful; they are simply timeless," says Kühn. "I found it especially appealing to combine these particular choices with my latest compositions. The album opens with "Both Sides Now", a classic by Joni Mitchell. Kühn liked the poetic text, and says that, "Somehow, in life there are always two sides, but it's best when they enrich each other and can smoothly merge in order to create something new." One of five new compositions, the title song "Yellow + Blue" encapsulates the two perspectives: the flamboyant, the impulsively vibrant yellow next to the soft, sensitive, warm bluesy-blue tonal color. In turn, a new musical color is created out of the contrast.
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