"If Steve Kessler is - to use the cliché - “the best kept secret in jazz”, it is by his design. Fame has not so much eluded pianist Steve Kessler as he has eluded it. Over the years, he resisted high profile band offers from jazz legend Freddie Hubbard to Bruce Springsteen to Dave Matthews, to maintain a personal vision of the music he sought to play. Kessler is a stunningly imaginative and engaging player. He thinks quickly, plays fluidly, and doesn’t sound like anyone else.
A musician’s musician, seldom recorded, he channels his considerable talent almost exclusively into performance. At the height of a solo, Kessler rises on crouched tiptoe, bearing into the keyboard, fingers splashing out runs and clusters. His playing is bracing, articulate, unpredictable and totally individual. Ideas flow in torrents rich in charm and quicksilver wit, but without the familiar comforts of repetition. Lovely melodies rise and then cascade into glittering dissonance; fragments of familiar tunes surface just long enough to be recognized before sweeping past.
He’s recorded so much unreleased material over the years that he jokes this first release under his own name should be a box set. In originality, imagination, commitment and execution, there are few players anywhere who are his equal. In a world blinded by fame, it’s rare to find an artist driven by the serious responsibilities that come with talent — a word from a biblical parable about the entanglement of gifts and obligations. "
- Peter McElhinney, Music Critic, Style Magazine