- Well, "BORROWED TIME" was just released on June 5th, and the first reviews have been published. Hopefully, this is a portend of good things to come. But, let's wait and see.
- But, before we get the reviews, please make certain that you read STEVE'S PERSONAL REFLECTIONS on all the tunes from "BORROWED TIME." When this new column, "In the Artist's Own Words" was launched during 2006 by allaboutjazz.com, the very first feature was Steve's Personal Reflections on all the tunes from "THE GREEN FIELD." In both cases, they were originally written to give some personal and historical perspective for what were to be the Japanese liner notes, it is now hoped that everyone can benefit from reading just what went into both of these wonderful recordings.
- Here's a very nice INTERVIEW which was conducted by Darrin Fox for "GUITAR PLAYER" Magazine from the October 2007 issue. Though short, I hope that some of you will find it to be of some interest.
- O.K., back to the reviews, you might want to begin by reading the very thoughtful and terrific REVIEW of the new CD, by John Kelman of allaboutjazz.com. You can read another great review, this time by Mark F. Turner, at the same great website! And now, we have a nice review from Woodrow Wilkins. My sincere thanks to them all!
At almost the same moment, Steve was totally floored to read the remarkable review by Tom Watson which appears in "MODERN GUITARS MAGAZINE." This one is truly spectacular and shows a great, great deal of empathy and insight. Don't miss it!!!
Just recently, I was directed to another terrific review from Damian Erskine which appears in December 2007/January 2008 issue of BASS MUSICIAN MAGAZINE. My thanks to Jake Kot and everyone at the magazine!
Another wonderful review, this time from Glen Astarita appears at "JAZZREVIEW." It is really nice to see reviews where it appears that the writer has actually listened to the entire CD. Though demanding, this does mean a lot to each and every artist.
- In the soon-to-be published 2009 issues of the web-magazine, "Improvisation Nation" the 2007 release, "BORROWED TIME" was honored with a wonderful review by Dick Metcalf. Early or late, it's great that this recording has been recognized.
"BORROWED TIME": Here's yet another from our fantastic guitar-jazz friend Steve Khan. We reviewed 2 of his more recent efforts in issues #88 and #89. On "BORROWED TIME" (released in 2007), he's joined by John Patitucci on acoustic bass, Jack DeJohnette on drums and Manolo Badrena's percussion (along with a host of others). The CD includes explorations of tunes from folks like Monk, Ornette Coleman, McCoy Tyner and others, but as usual, the originals are what stay in my mind. The beautiful and dreamy "Face Value" is the perfect vehicle for opening-up a lazy Saturday morning, especially when Randy Brecker chimes in on flügelhorn. In the same vein, but with some wonderful eastern influences, was "El Faquir", which I loved especially for the beautiful (and long) introduction. Badal Roy's superb tabla and, the excellent bass clarinet from Bob Mintzer will weave a truly world fantasy for your ears, and leave you more enlightened than you've ever been. A very improvisational feel on this track, and my favorite on the album, without a doubt! Steve's guitar on this piece saunters in, out and through the entire 13+ minutes and imparts a great sense of calm, something we all need to aspire towards in these ever-more trying times. It's the most relaxed playing I've ever heard from him! The other track I really scoped out a lot was "Blues for Ball" very subtle & laden with the soul you'd expect from the blues, a McCoy Tyner tune that's very satisfying. This one is my favorite of all the CDs I've listened to from Khan, though I'm sure there will be many more coming down the proverbial pike. I give this a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, as well as the "PICK" of this issue for "best guitar-based jazz." Rotcod Zzaj
Once again, I am especially pleased to share another great review from noted Jazz writer, Peter Watrous, and you can read what he wrote about the new recording at one of my favorite sites for hunting down everything that's wonderful in Latin music, Bruce Polin's fantastic Descarga.com. It is a true honor to have been mentioned there, especially for my own work as a leader. Thanks so much to both Peter and Bruce!!!
The August issue of "JazzTimes" brings with it a great review from vaunted writer, Bill Milkowski:
A bona fide fusion guitar hero from the '70s, Steve Khan has more recently re-invented himself as a practitioner of fluent, warm-toned, bop-informed single-note lines and deft fingerstyle chordal work. He hinted at a new Latin influence on last year's The Green Field which also featured Jack DeJohnette, bassist John Patitucci and percussionist Manolo Badrena (a member of Khan's under-recognized and cutting edge Eyewitness band from the '80s).
That same stellar rhythm section is back for this superb outing, which pushes further into Afro-Cuban territory with a hip 6/8 guaguancó version of Monk's "I Mean You," a rumba rendition of "Have You Met Miss Jones," his soulful bolero "Face Value," which features bright, lyrical flügelhorn playing by longstanding colleague Randy Brecker, and a cha-cha version of McCoy Tyner's "Hymn Song." Khan also investigates some intriguingly "out" realms, as on a faithful read of the obscure Ornette Coleman tune from 1960, "Mr. and Mrs. People," and on his expansive "El Faquir," a world-music amalgam which blends the colors of Badal Roy's tabla and Geeta Roy's tamboura with Ralph Irizarry's timbales and Roberto Quintero's güiro and maracas, along with Bob Mintzer's bass clarinet.
Elsewhere, the guitarist turns in a beautiful rendition of the ballad "You're My Girl," written by his famous father Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne. And the core quartet indulges in some heightened, no-holds-barred swinging on Tyner's "Blues for Ball."
Also, recently published on the Net, was this very nice review from "Big Geez" which appears in BLOGCRITICS MAGAZINE. Check it out!
We just received this wonderful review, written by John Heidt, from VINTAGE GUITAR Magazine which will appear in their September '07 issue. Thanks so much to everyone involved!!!
Steve Khan once again proves he's among the top guitarists of his generation. Khan has always been a fine composer and writer, but here he penned just two cuts - the other seven are by the likes of McCoy Tyner, Thelonious Monk, and Ornette Coleman, as well as a couple of standards, one written by his father Sammy Cahn. One of the most interesting cuts is the near-14-minute original called "El Faquir" which has a decidedly Eastern flavor, with tabla and tamboura joining the traditional instruments. The intro, where Khan mixes bubbling, jazzy guitar blurbs with the Indian instruments gives way to a churning bop feel. The solos by Bob Mintzer(bass clarinet) and Khan are inspiring, and the rhythm section cooks. That rhythm section, by the way, is anchored by the legendary Jack DeJohnette on drums and John Patitucci on bass. Evidence of Khan's brilliance as a soloist is on display on literally every cut. His mix of solo lines and chordal work is really a trademark and is showcased on cuts like "I Mean You," "Blues for Ball," and "You're My Girl." His ballad work shines on the mysterious "Face Value," where his acoustic solo, and Randy Brecker's melodic flügelhorn, are sheer delights.
The record wraps up with two pieces that have a Latin feel. "Luna y Arena" features a lovely vocal from Gabriela Anders and an incredibly musical solo from Steve, while McCoy Tyner's "Hymn Song" is a showcase for percussion that morphs into a Latin sound with more stunning fretwork.
The July 2007 issue of England's "Jazzwise" magazine featured this review from Tom Barlow:
Guitarist Steve Khan was a key member of the Brecker Brothers Band, a sideman with Steely Dan, a fusion soloist with Columbia in the late-70's, and a Monk interpreter par excellence. "Borrowed Time," therefore, is about as expansive and open-minded as the man's CV would suggest, veering convincingly between straight-ahead, Latin, fusion and psychedelic meditations. Khan is a sharp, sensitive electric player whose fleet-fingers are capable of intense, shifting block-chords hinting at how McCoy Tyner would sound on guitar. His improvisations are stylish, as well as gritty and searchingly intense. It's no surprise then that Borrowed Time is a classy recording, not least for the leader's chemistry with Patitucci and DeJohnette on the chant-like "El Faquir" with Bob Mintzer growling on bass clarinet. Despite its diversity, the set is consistently intense throughout, whether it's the up-lift of Monk's "I Mean You", Tyner's "Blues for Ball" and "Hymn Song", or the Latin riffs of "Luna y Arena" with a salsoul rhythm section including bassist Rubén Rodríguez. Guest spots from Randy Brecker also go down as a treat, but it is Khan's interplay with his percussive rhythm team that lifts the record to unexpected levels.
Just now, I was sent an advance copy of Rafael Vega Curry's review, in Spanish of course, which will appear in the July 1st issue of "Revista Domingo" from "EL NUEVO DÍA" newspaper in Puerto Rico.
So, for all our Spanish speaking visitors, this was definitely something we wanted to share with you.
A lo largo de su ilustre carrera, Steve Khan ha tocado con algunas de las grandes estrellas del jazz (Miles Davis, los Brecker Brothers) y el pop (Steely Dan, James Brown). Sin embargo, y a pesar de que es un buen jugador de equipo, lo que más se disfruta de su música es, precisamente, el sonido de su guitarra: un sonido claro, de limpia articulación, en el que no sobra una sola nota. Acompañado por los excelentes músicos de sus dos grabaciones anteriores (John Patitucci en bajo y Jack DeJohnette en batería, además de invitados importantes como Randy Brecker en flügelhorn y Bob Mintzer en 'bass clarinet') Khan ha producido un disco de jazz inteligente pero accesible. Y bailable, pues predominan aquí los ritmos latinos, cortesía de los percusionistas Ralph Irizarry, Marc Quiñones, Roberto Quintero y Bobby Allende. La versión en 6/8 del clásico "I Mean You" de Monk, establece el sabor desde el primer momento; "El Faquir" es una larga exploración (dura 13:37) de la fusión de ritmos latinos y de la India; "Have You Met Miss Jones?" pudo haberse re-titulado "Have You Danced Miss Jones?", por su sabor a salsa de Nueva York; y "Hymn Song" le da amplio espacio a los percusionistas (conga, timbal, batería) para hacer lo suyo. Música fresca y llena de vitalidad, como para disfrutarse a cualquier hora del día -o de la noche.
I would also like to thank DJs Josué Navarro and José Vélez for presenting the new CD to the listeners from "La Isla del Encanto."
Then, we have:
Jazz guitarist Steve Khan's been around for a long, long time, having been one of the pioneers of the jazz-fusion movement of the early 70's, alongside other players such as Larry Coryell, John McLaughlin, and Al DiMeola. Through many recordings as a leader as well as a sideman, Khan has developed quite a reputation for himself, and still continues to release albums at a pretty impressive clip. "Borrowed Time" is his follow-up to "The Green Field," and he surrounds himself with pretty much the same cast of stellar musicians, namely bassist John Patitucci(Chick Corea Elektric Band/Wayne Shorter), legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette, and percussionist/vocalist Manolo Badrena(Weather Report), as well as some guests, which include Randy Brecker on flügelhorn, Rob Mounsey on keyboards, and Salsa legends Marc Quiñones on timbal, Rubén Rodríguez on bass, Bobby Allende on conga, and vocalist Gabriela Anders.
There's a wide mix of styles here, from the tight jazz of Thelonius Monk's "I Mean You", to the laid-back and smoky "Face Value", which features some great Latin grooves from the Salsa players, and a stunning flügelhorn solo from Brecker. Patitucci's rumbling acoustic bass, and the dexterious chord voicings from Khan propel the near 14-minute "El Faquir", a dark mix of jazz, Latin, and avant-garde elements; and, the guitarist's tasty jazz leads permeate the old school, McCoy Tyner penned "Blues for Ball." Pure Latin jazz can be heard on the swinging "Have You Met Miss Jones?" and, "Hymn Song" is another Tyner piece that comes to life with the tricky drum fills from DeJohnette, and busy percussion work from both Ralph Irizarry and Roberto Quintero.
As good as Khan's guitar work is here, it's almost as if he's not the central player, as the contributions from Patitucci, and the wizard DeJohnette cannot be overlooked, and, are quite integral to the overall success of these songs. This is a pretty hot band, one that takes some of these jazz classics and originals to soaring heights, making it a must hear for fans of fusion and Latin jazz.
-Pete Pardo "SEA OF TRANQUILITY"
For more than two decades Steve Khan has served as an exemplary jazz guitarist. Armed with an ace band that includes John Patitucci, Jack DeJohnette and Manolo Badrena, Khan offers up two breathtaking originals ("Face Value," "El Faquir") while working up fascinating interpretations of masters such as Thelonious Monk/Coleman Hawkins("I Mean You"), Ornette Coleman("Mr. and Mrs. People"), and McCoy Tyner("Hymn Song" and "Blues For Ball"). As with any great interpreter, Khan doesn't settle for creating paint-by-numbers recreations of familiar standards. "Hymn Song" is reimagined as a cha-cha and "Blues For Ball" feels looser, freer and, perhaps, more interesting than ever before. Other interesting moments include "El Faquir," on which DeJohnette's playing is augmented by other percussionists and a take on the Rodgers and Hart classic "Have You Met Miss Jones?" Miss this one at your peril.
-Jedd Beaudoin "SEA OF TRANQUILITY"
Recently, I was sent Brent Black's stellar review that appears in his blog at "Digital Jazz News" and I hope that everyone will now enjoy reading it here.
In anticipation of the soon to be released "PARTING SHOT" on April 26th 2011, I wanted to take a look at two other Steve Khan recordings.
The first - "BORROWED TIME," a recording that almost never happened! This Grammy nominated recording features such notables as John Patitucci on acoustic bass, Jack DeJohnette on drums, and Bob Mintzer(Yellowjackets) on bass clarinet. Other musicians that appear include: Randy Brecker, Rob Mounsey and the incomparable Manolo Badrena, handling a great deal of the percussion duties.
Much as fusion cuisine combines elements of various culinary traditions, while not fitting specifically into any, "BORROWED TIME" is as Khan describes in the liner notes, "the oddball musical idea where Jazz and Latin music can be melded together."
From driving percussion to incorporating some multi-cultural elements from Indian music, Latin music and Jazz into the Khan composition "El Faquir," "BORROWED TIME" is a melting pot of a variety of styles, textures, and rhythms with none taking the predominant role.
The song list runs from Monk to McCoy Tyner, as well as a tune from Sammy Cahn for good measure. The acoustic nylon string work on the Rodgers and Hart tune, "Have You Met Miss Jones?" is one of the finest examples of the artistry that is Steve Khan
So what do we wind up with? New World Latin? Contemporary World Jazz? Steve Khan on whole wheat?
The end result is a release that sets, and takes it own musical path. The subtle nuances contained in the release are many, and each to be relished. "BORROWED TIME" is one of those rare recordings that can give something new of itself with each spin of the disc.
Musical frame of reference? No one sounds like Steve Khan. A good critic can only offer you perspective. Some of this you have to figure out on your own. The musical journey of "BORROWED TIME" is well worth the effort!