Steve Kuhn’s career found him moving in exceptional company while still a teenager: he accompanied Chet Baker, Coleman Hawkins and Vic Dickenson in the clubs of Boston. At the Lennox School of Music he played in a band with Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. He was in Kenny Dorham’s group for two years, and then became, briefly and famously, the first pianist of the John Coltrane Quartet (an experience recalled in Kuhn’s “Mostly Coltrane” album). After Coltrane came Stan Getz in a line-up with Scott LaFaro. At the end of the 1960s, Kuhn spent four years living in Europe, mostly in Scandinavia where his performance had a significant impact upon local players. Upon returning to the United States, Kuhn began his affiliation with ECM, resulting in a row of important albums. Three of these were reprised in 2008 in the box set “Life’s Backward Glances”, which included the solo album ”Ecstasy”, and the quartet discs “Motility” and “Playground” (the latter with singer Sheila Jordan).
Steve Swallow’s acoustic bass playing helped define the sound of the Jazz of the 1960s in contexts including the Jimmy Giuffre 3, the Paul Bley Trio, the George Russell Sextet (with Eric Dolphy), and the Gary Burton Quartet. In 1970, Swallow reinvented himself as electric bass guitar player and has been yet more influential in this capacity. A member of all Carla Bley’s ensembles for more than 30 years, he co-directs the WATT label with her, and continues to lead his own bands and projects. His most recent release under his own name was the collaboration with Robert Creeley “So There”, with Steve Kuhn on piano. A new Swallow Quintet disc (featuring Carla Bley, Chris Cheek, Steve Cardenas and Jorge Rossy), is in preparation from ECM/XtraWatt.
Joey Baron’s ECM recordings include a series of discs with John Abercrombie: “Class Trip”, “Cat’n’Mouse”, “The Third Quartet”, “Wait Till You See Her” and the brand-new “Within A Song” (recorded the same week as “Wisteria”). Other appearances for the label include John Taylor’s “Rosslyn”, Bill Frisell’s “Lookout for Hope” and Marc Johnson’s “Shades of Jade”. He has also toured and recorded very extensively (several dozen albums) with John Zorn and played with numerous jazz greats including Dizzy Gillespie, Carmen McRae, Lee Konitz and many more. With Tim Berne and Hank Roberts he co-led the group Miniature, and he has also directed his own groups Killer Joey and Baron Down.