Ok… Come on. Steve Khan with John Patitucci, Ruben Rodriguez, Randy Brecker, Jack DeJohnette, Bob Mintzer, Manola Badrena and a slew of other amazing musicians?! “How could you go wrong?” you might ask. I might answer, “ummmm…. you can’t!!”. And I’d be right. I love this album!
I initially knew of Steve’s playing from his work with Weather Update and was already a fan. In a world just bursting with exciting guitar talent, Steve Khan has always stood out as one very steeped in the tradition of jazz guitar playing, but always willing to step out and speak with a unique and exciting voice. His playing is so clean and well constructed yet never comes across as predictable or “too old school” (some of you are going to hate that I said that). I am one who loves jazz but has always leaned more towards the edgier, grittier modern NYC approach, it takes a very special player to captivate me when taking a more straight ahead approach. Steve’s playing is unbelievably clean, creative and articulate (this guy does not “fluff” his way through changes!). The lineup is exciting and well considered and the song-list is especially interesting (containing tunes by Ornette Coleman, Monk, McCoy Tyner and Rodgers & Hart). Steve only contributed two of his own compositions: “Face Value” and a very cool “El Faquir”. Any fan of Jazz guitar should find plenty to grab ahold of with this album and any guitar player will find plenty to study!