HOTHOUSE LIVE 2018
You hear it when Kevin Hunt just plays an electronic piano, let alone the magnificent, enhanced-range (99 keys rather than 88) Stuart & Sons grand piano heard here. It is his ability to make his lines effervesce with all the joy that has gone into their articulation, and with no barriers. Hunt’s playing has always had this quality, which lets him make even the melody of a standard heard as often as On a Clear Day leap out at you, as if yesterday it were a bit drab, and today it has been freshly painted.
Furthermore, because he plays with such warmth, he makes the astounding lower-register clarity of Stuart & Sons piano work for him. This was recorded live at Sydney Conservatorium with Hunt’s regular team of bassist Karl Dunnicliff and drummer Dave Goodman – players who not only fit like a glove around what the pianist’s hands are doing, they’re entirely at ease with his diverse musical interests and approaches. These reach from reimagining Porter, Ellington and Monk to a gripping use of the extended-range piano in mashing-up the First Nations chant Barrabul-la (from the Wangul people) with Things Ain’t What They Use to Be.