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Steve Khan: Subtext (2014)

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Steve Khan: Subtext Track review of "Hackensack"

Steve Khan has always been a consummate, story-telling improviser. His extensive resume and distinguished solo career spans jazz fusion, modern mainstream, and with Subtext, he delves a bit deeper into the Latin element, when looking back at his days recording and performing with former Weather Report percussionist Manolo Badrena who was a member of Khan's early 80s bands. It's a sprightly session, featuring guest appearances by trumpeter Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker
b.1945
trumpet
, keyboardist Rob Mounsey
Rob Mounsey

keyboard
and others of note. But the core personnel with heavyweight drummer Dennis Chambers
Dennis Chambers
Dennis Chambers
b.1959
drums
and percussionists, Bobby Allende and Marc Quinones give Khan that added oomph amid his clever reformulations of modern jazz standards.

Khan's liberating rendition of Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
1917 - 1982
piano
's "Hackensack," sheds a markedly inventive spin on the roads exhaustively travelled by other jazz artists over the years. Simply put, it's not more of the same. Khan fuses Wes Montgomery
Wes Montgomery
Wes Montgomery
1925 - 1968
guitar
's chord voicings atop a bulging, medium tempo Latin jazz romp. True to form, his animated and curvaceous single note lines counterbalance the bubbly pulse, where the rhythm section seems on the verge of bursting at the seams.

The guitarist bends his strings to generate a little emphasis on the primary motif and tosses in a few off-kilter contrasts, as he pitches an alternating viewpoint. And the rhythm section enacts an oscillating jamboree during the bridge as Khan comps with a two-chord vamp, segueing to an understated melody line towards closeout. Consequently, Khan's artistry and acute vision convey a touch of class that underscores the heart of matters.


Track Listing: Track #1; Track #2; Track #3.

Personnel: Steve Khan: guitar; Ruben Rodriguez: electric bass, baby bass; Dennis Chambers;drums; Marc Quinones: timbal, bongo, percussion; Bobby Allende: conga, bongo (1);Randy Brecker: flugelhorn (1); Rob Mounsey: keyboards (2, 5); orchestrations (3, 4, 6,7), coro (7); Gil Goldstein: accordion (7); Mariana Ingold: vocals (7).

Record Label: Tone Center

Style: Beyond Jazz


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