Posts Tagged ‘ Steve Khan ’

Steve Khan – Backlog

There was the stunning electric guitar solo on the disco-fueled, big band cover of the Star Wars theme with Maynard Ferguson. Then there was the beautiful end solo to Steely Dan’s “Glamour Profession.” And apart from those, there were guest appearances with numerous other artists, his partnership with keyboardist Rob Mounsey and a brilliant solo career. The point is, you see Steve Khan’s name, you know what you’re going to get: musical fulfillment. That tradition continues with Backlog (Tone Center Records, 2017).

Personnel on this date are Ruben Rodriguez, baby bass and electric bass; Mark Walker, drums; Marc Quinones, timbal, bongo and percussion; and Bobby Allende, conga and bongo. Guests appearing selected tracks are Randy Brecker, trumpet on “Latin Genetics”; Bob Mintzer, tenor sax on “Invisible”; Mike Mainieri, vibes on “Head Start”; Rob Mounsey, keyboards, orchestrations and orchestral arrangements on several songs; and Tatiana Parra, voice on “Catta.”

Khan’s treatment of Ornette Coleman’s “Latin Genetics” presents a festive offering. Khan and Brecker are in unison for the melody. The rhythm section is as prominent here as the two leads, offering plenty of variety as they maintain the beat. Brecker and Khan take turns adding to the block party mood with extended solos.

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Steve Khan – Subtext

I’ve said on occasion that Steve Khan can do no wrong. Having heard his solos in performances with some of my old favorites, Maynard Ferguson and Steely Dan, I’ve come to know a different side of him as a solo artist. He never disappoints. Subtext (Tone Center Records, 2014) further validates the point.

The lineup is Khan; Ruben Rodriguez, electric bass and baby bass; Dennis Chambers, drums; Marc Quinones, timbale, bongo and percussion; and Bobby Allende, conga and bongo. Keyboardist Rob Mounsey performs on a few tracks and handles orchestrations for several others.

Special guest Randy Brecker plays flugelhorn on the first track, “Bird Food (Comida para Pajaros),” an Ornette Coleman remake. Quinones and Allende get quite busy beneath the leads as Khan and Brecker carry the melody. After the opening sequence, Brecker delivers a bright, sunny solo. When it’s his turn, Khan moves seamlessly between single notes and chords. Guitar and flugelhorn blend for tightly syncopated phrases several times during this piece. “Blue Subtext,” one of three original songs on this date, has a placid, tropical vibe. Mounsey comes through a bit more. Khan puts the guitar through a few high-speed passes, yet he does it in such a way as not to sound like he’s speeding up the song. That mellow, easygoing feel is present throughout.

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Steve Khan – Parting Shot

Steve Khan can do no wrong. Whether as a session player for such diverse acts as Maynard Ferguson and Steely Dan, partnering with keyboardist Rob Mounsey, or standing on his own as a lead artist, the prolific guitarist never fails to impress.

Culling the talents of several associates he has worked with in the past, Khan delivers Parting Shot (Golpe de Partida) (Tone Center, 2011), a stunning, Latin-flavored follow-up to The Green Field and the Grammy-nominated Borrowed Time.

Accompanying him on this musical adventure are Anthony Jackson, contrabass guitar; Dennis Chambers, drums; Manolo Badrena, percussion and vocals; Marc Quinones, timbal, bongo and percussion; and Bobby Allende, conga. Mounsey contributes keyboards on “Zancudoville” and orchestrations on several other tracks. And guest vocalists Tatiana Parra and Andres Beeuwsaert appear on “Influence Peddler.”

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