German-born trumpet player Steffen Kuehn performed already with a great array of artists before he started his own solo projects. His debut album Now Or Later was released in 2002, followed by Trumpop (2008), a smooth jazz project with dazzling contemporary jazz elements.

Meanwhile he won in 2014 with the co-founded 20-piece Latin Big Band Pacific Mambo Orchestra a Grammy® Award for Best Tropical Latin Album. Time to create the new solo album Leap Of Faith, which will be released on May 15, 2016.

Steffen plays on his new project trumpet and flugelhorn. He is joined in the rhythm section by Tommy Igoe (drums), Dewayne Pate (bass), Drew Zingg (guitar), Colin Hogan (piano and keyboard), in the horn section by John Gove (trombone), Tom E. Politzer (tenor sax), Marc Russo (alto sax), in the percussion section by Javier Cabanillas (congas, percussion), Omar Ledezma Jr. (timbales), Braulio Barrera (bongos).

Special guests are saxophonist Bob Mintzer, flutists Wouter Kellerman and Pete Cornell, keyboardist and pianist Christian Tumalan, saxophonist and clarinetist Aaron Lington and vocalist Alexa Weber Morales on selected tracks.

Who Knew is a fresh approach to the contemporary jazz genre with an exquisite horn arrangement. One can compare the powerful starter with the instrumental Incognito albums. Musical peaks are Steffen's trumpet solo and the prime excursion of keyboardist Colin Hogan. Leap Of Faith digs deeper into this genre with Steffen on muted trumpet in the lead and a stunning sax performance by Marc Russo, who is a former member of the Yellowjackets and performs since 17 years with the Doobie Brothers.

Geraldine was originally released by the Yellowjackets on their album The Spin (1989). Comparisons with the original fail, when the interpretation goes its own way like on this album. The horn arrangement is intense and Colin Hogan's solo draws the listeners into the tune.

The term Storm is associated with massive forces of nature. Experience the exhilarating dynamics, raw power, and speed of this aptly titled interlude. Serenity is the only vocal contribution on this album featuring jazz singer-songwriter Alexa Weber Morales, who also appeared on the Grammy® Award winning debut album of the Pacific Mambo Orchestra. The lyrics in Portuguese language elude my interpretation. On the empathic level the song stimulates the impression of lovable peacefulness.

George Cables wrote Helen's Song for his album Cables Fables (1991). The song is dedicated to Helen Wray, Cables' love of his life, he lost to pancreatic cancer. Cables is considered as Bebop icon, while this special tune has a more sonic twist. Steffen's rendition shines with excellent horn harmonies. With a keen sense for melody and harmony Steffen creates the horn emphasized Now Is The Time.

Playing Lanechange brings several melodies of the past into mind from Cantaloop to the theme of Mission Impossible offering a pyrotechnics of horns. Steffen packs a big punch of throwback fusion style into Above The Fold pushing the tune through the roof with hot sax and drum solos. The album ends with the mellifluous florid Vivienne And Simone's Lullaby in contrast to the previous energetic harmonic progressions.

Steffen Kuehn's Leap Of Faith captures a master of contemporary jazz at the top of his game. This album is not only for friends of horn powered music but for the global community of good jazz.







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Album Information

Title: Leap Of Faith
Artist: Steffen Kuehn
Year: 2016
Length: 0:49:09
Genre: General Jazz
Label: Stefrecords

01 Who Knew [5:34]
02 Leap Of Faith [5:03]
03 Geraldine [7:54]
04 Storm [2:52]
05 Serenity [2:39]
06 Helen's Song [6:39]
07 Now Is The Time [5:17]
08 Lanechange [3:32]
09 Above The Fold [4:51]
10 Vivienne And Simone's Lullaby [4:48]