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Steve Khan: Patchwork

Read "Patchwork" reviewed by John Kelman

Amongst the many myths out there about music-making—especially in jazz, where the improvisation quotient is often so high—is that composing may, indeed, be work, but doesn't require the kind of relentless attention to detail that far more truthfully defines how many artists write and arrange their music. These days, one need only look to music by artists including Pat Metheny, Antonio Sanchez and Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah to find music conceived with intimate and painstaking detail while, at the same ...

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Steve Khan: Public Access / Headline / Crossings

Read "Public Access / Headline / Crossings" reviewed by John Kelman

It's been a great couple of years for Steve Khan fans who are (relatively) new to the guitarist's work, especially his early releases, thanks to UK-based BGO Records. First, his '70s-era trio of fusion-centric LPs on Columbia Records, 1977's Tightrope, 1978's The Blue Man and 1979's Arrows, were remastered and reissued in a 2015 two-CD set, Tightrope / The Blue Man / Arrows. As fine as those records are, however, BGO's 2016 reissue of Khan's early '80s triptych, which has ...

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Steve Khan: Backlog

Read "Backlog" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Latin jazz has rarely featured the guitar, but that hasn't stopped Steve Khan. Backlog continues in the vein of previous albums including Parting Shot (Tone Center, 2011) and Subtext (Tone Center, 2014): creative Latin arrangements of Great American Songbook standards and modern jazz tunes that are rarely played in Latin style (or in any style, in the case of the more obscure choices). The two previous installments included a number of Khan originals, but Backlog is entirely devoted to covers. ...

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Steve Khan: Backlog

Read "Backlog" reviewed by James Nadal

In what could best be described as an enduring exploration, Steve Khan has undertaken the role of expanding and redefining the role of the guitar in the hybrid genre of Latin Jazz. Backlog continues with the concept established as far back as 2005 on The Green Field (Tone Center), in the transformation of straight-ahead jazz compositions into unique Khan improvisations drawing deeply from the Afro-Cuban tradition. The percussion duo of Marc Quiñones and Bobby Allende have been an ...

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Steve Khan: Backlog

Read "Backlog" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Steve Khan's love affair with Latin music germinated in the 1980's with his stellar Eyewitness recordings and continued to develop in a number of releases including 2011's Parting Shot and 2014's Subtext both on Tone Center Records. Backlog is third in this series and represents some of the esteemed jazz guitarist's finest work to date. A consummate musician, Khan's credits include heavy work in the '70s and '80s with pop and jazz icons Donald Fagen, Michael Brecker, ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Eyewitness Trilogy

Read "Eyewitness Trilogy" reviewed by John Kelman

Emerging on the New York scene in the mid-1970s, guitarist Steve Khan didn't long at all to develop a strong reputation as both chameleon-like session guitarist—comfortably crossing over from the jazz world into pop and rock and gracing albums by artists ranging from Esther Phillips, Freddie Hubbard and David Sanborn to Phoebe Snow, Billy Joel and Steely Dan—and valued member of the Brecker Brothers Band, playing on the seminal uptown group's sophomore effort, 1976's Back to Back, as well as ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

BGO Records: Excellence in Jazz Reissues

Read "BGO Records: Excellence in Jazz Reissues" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

In the digital age we live in, there is no doubt that the business of reissuing music is booming. It has never been easier to get music, old and new, in digital or physical form. However, one thing is to re-release a record; another thing is to do it the right way. BGO Records, run by Andy Gray with help from Mike Gott, is a British label that focuses on doing reissues like a dedicated fan and collector would like ...

REDISCOVERY

Steve Khan: Eyewitness

Read "Steve Khan: Eyewitness" reviewed by John Kelman

Steve KhanEyewitnessAntilles1981 Today's Rediscovery represented a significant turning point for an artist who'd already made a name for himself in the '70s as part of the scene that included The Brecker Brothers, David Sanborn and Mike Mainieri. Guitarist Steve Khan, along with playing with many of the artists in that axis, had released his own trilogy of fine recordings on Columbia Records between 1977 and 1979--albums that all reflected that scene's more funkified ...

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Steve Khan: Subtext

Read "Subtext" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

From his obscure gems on Columbia Records--Tightrope (1977), The Blue Man (1978) and Arrow (1979), or the critically acclaimed 1980s Eye Witness recordings, to 2011's Latin-tinged Parting Shot (Tone Center), jazz guitarist Steve Khan continues to deliver his unique artistry--exquisite touch, expressive solos, and warm tonality--that's made his music identifiable. Subtext finds that mastery still intact with a renewed mix of originals and covers. In addition to Khan's musicianship, he's always been a great interpreter of standards, ...

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Steve Khan: Subtext

Read "Subtext" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

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, keyboardist Rob Mounsey and others of note. But the core personnel ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Subtext

Read "Subtext" reviewed by John Kelman

Change is a fact of life, and it's something that's better to be embraced than challenged; as inevitable as death and taxes, it's one of those things that you may as well accept, because there are few, if any, options to do otherwise. That said, while the then-aptly titled Parting Shot (Tone Center, 2011) suggested that guitarist Steve Khan's days recording as a leader were over, it is, indeed, great news to find, in 2014, that he's changed his mind ...

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Steve Khan: Subtext

Read "Subtext" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Guitarist Steve Khan's latter day work has been increasingly focused on Latin jazz fusion of various shapes, so the scope and direction of Subtext should come as no surprise to his longtime followers. This album arrives three years after Parting Shot (Tone Center, 2011) and runs along similar lines. That one was an originals-heavy, percussively-coated session that dipped into the songbooks of Thelonious Monk ("Bye-Ya") and Ornette Coleman ("Blues Connotation" and “Chronology"); this one is a mostly covers companion piece ...


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