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Kuhn Fu IX — Tantalos
(Bandcamp no#, 2022, DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2022-05-24

Tantalos Cover art

When we last touched base with the Berlin based international band Kuhn Fu, it was on the release of their 2019 album Chain the Snake, at which time they were a quartet of guitarist / composer Christian Kühn, Turkish bassist Esat Ekincioglu, British drummer George Hadow, and Israeli bass clarinetist Ziv Taubenfeld. Since that time, the band has expanded to a nonet with the added horn section of Sofia Salvo (bari sax), John Dikeman (tenor sax), Edith Steyer (alto sax and clarinet), Kelly O'Donohue (trumpet), and Jason Liebert (trombone), rechristening themselves as Kuhn Fu IX, the near-nine minute single release “Tantalos” being their first as a nine-piece. It’s packed with power and urgency, and did I mention heavy? A crepuscular introduction begins with guitar and brings all the other players in one by one, first the brass and winds, then drums and bass, and the whole piece erupts into a heavy maelstrom around the two-minute mark, something that might have a strong hint of 70s King Crimson, but there are several softer pauses and interesting changes as the piece proceeds, including some wild sax solos to perk things up. Cycle through that a few more times, including some searing guitar solos in the song’s last few minutes, then the listener will be ready for the calm at the very end. A wonderful instrumental piece that definitely delivers the goods. The band says that there are a couple more pieces by the nonet forthcoming (again, to be released as singles), and possibly some concerts, but the band’s next album Jazz Is Expensive will be as a sextet with the inclusion of saxophonists Salvo and Dikeman and a planned tenth anniversary tour to follow.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Kuhn Fu

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