5

Reza Khan: Imaginary Road

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Reza Khan: Imaginary Road
To impartially assess Imaginary Road, Bangladeshi-raised, New York-based guitarist Reza Khan's sixth album, it is best to lay aside as best one can his disposition for or against what could reasonably be labeled "smooth jazz" and start from there. Is the music melodically and rhythmically likeable? Yes, it is. Are the musicians technically able? Yes, they are.

Beyond that, what can be said? Well, the ten songs are essentially atmospheric, depicting the sort of aural landscapes that Khan obviously had in mind (he wrote and arranged every number for an ensemble that is heavy on strings and percussion with occasional incursions from David Mann on saxophone or flute and Matt King on piano). If there is a middle-to far-Eastern ambience, that is understandable, given Khan's heritage. It is especially discernible in the undulating rhythms, capably overseen for the most part by drummer Maurizio Zottarelli and percussionist Fernando Saci. Khan governs the melodies along with Mann, guitarists Sergio Pereira and Miles Gilderdale, and Philippe Saisse on mallets, melodion and Moog synthesizer. The sounds they produce, if not exceptional, are uniquely their own, as are Khan's ethereal, gently flowing compositions.

Improvisations, albeit random, are invariably engaging, with King and Mann doing some nice work whenever the need arises and Khan (apparently) making an occasional candid statement (although some of them may be delivered courtesy of Pereira or Gilderdale). And if the ears don't misread, it sounds like there's a (mysterious) background chorus on the closing "Imaginary Road." Perhaps an imaginary chorale on that road? As for the songs that precede it, they are pleasant enough without giving rise to any enduring fondness, akin to but perhaps a step or so removed from the music emanating from a shopping mall sound system near you. Even so, Khan and his mates are performing the music they favor, aimed toward a receptive audience, one to whom any review, affirmative or ungracious, will remain largely irrelevant.

Track Listing

Waiting for the Sky; Neo Funk; I See Stars; La Liaison; Midnight Runner; Broken River; Seven Miles Road; It’s Happening; Somewhere East; Imaginary Road.

Personnel

Reza Khan: guitar; Sergio Pereira: guitar, acoustic; Matt King: piano; Mark Egan: bass; Maurizio Zottarelli: drums; Fernando Saci: percussion; Miles Gilderdale: guitar; David Mann: saxophone; Philippe Saisse: keyboards.

Album information

Title: Imaginary Road | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Self Produced

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Soul Conversations
Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band
Sud Des Alpes
The Rempis Percussion Quartet
Hokusai
Sabu Toyozumi / Mats Gustafsson
Sacred Ceremonies
Wadada Leo Smith with Milford Graves and Bill...
L'Impact du Silence
Francois Bourassa
The Bright Awakening
Paul Dunmall - Matthew Shipp - Joe Morris -...

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.