Steve Khan: SubtextBy Track review of "Baraka Sasa"
In addition to Khan's musicianship, he's always been a great interpreter of standards, giving his own personality and insights to Thelonious Monk's music with six-string acoustic guitar in 1981's Evidence and the swinging percussion remake of Wayne Shorter's "Paraphernalia" in 1997's Got My Mental (ESC). One of his reworks in Subtext is cover of Freddie Hubbard's "Baraka Sasa" (Swahili for "blessings now") from the trumpeter's 1974 release High Energy (Columbia).
What was true in 1974 holds true with Khan's rendition: this is unadulterated dance music. Where Hubbard's original painted the dance floor with electric funk in the vein of Herbie Hancock's iconic Headhunters (Columbia, 1973), complete with, Sci-Fi sound effects, and his honey-toned trumpet, Khan's love for Latin music transforms the tune into a percussive party incorporated with Orisha rhythms in the intro, a variation on a Mambo rhythm in the body, and a Charanga, as Khan states, "thrown in for good measure."
Its tight groove is expertly provided by percussionist Marc Quinones, drummer Dennis Chambers and bassist Ruben Rodriguez. While the percussion and rhythm section drive the track, Khan's soloing, chording, and colorizations provide the melodic pocket. The guitarist's masterful accompaniment near the end is where the music hits the sweet spot; that in-the-pocket goodness that beckons you to press the repeat button and get on your feet and move.
Bird Food; Blue Subtext; Baraka Sasa; Infant Eyes; Heard; Never Let Me Go; Cada Gota de Mar; Hackensack; Bait and Switch.
Steve Khan: guitar, voice (9); Rubén Rodriguez: electric bass, baby bass; Dennis Chambers: drums; Marc Quiñones: timbal, bongo, percussion; Bobby Allende: conga, bongo (1); Randy Brecker: flugelhorn (1); Rob Mounsey: keyboards (2, 5), orchestrations (3, 4, 6, 7, 9), coro (7); Gil Goldstein: accordion (7); Mariana Ingold: voice (7).
Title: Subtext | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Tone Center
Post a comment about this album
FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZAll About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
WE NEED YOUR HELPTo expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.
About Steve Khan
Instrument: GuitarArticle Coverage | Calendar | Albums | Photos | Similar Artists