Welcome to the home page of guitarist Steve Khan!
NOW AVAILABLE!!! "SUBTEXT" is the title of Steve's most recent recording, and again, there is a subtitle in Spanish, "Subtexto en Azul." On the album, Steve continues his explorations of the wondrous traditions of Latin music, and this time, the core group features: Rubén Rodríguez(El. Bass & Baby Bass), Bobby Allende(Conga), Marc Quiñones(Timbal), and Dennis Chambers(Drums). At varying moments, they are joined by some great musicians, dear friends, as guest artists, including: Rob Mounsey(Keys & Orchestrations); Randy Brecker(Flügelhorn); Gil Goldstein(Accordion); and Mariana Ingold(Vocals). In all, they perform Steve's arrangements of compositions by: Ornette Coleman, "Bird Food"; Freddie Hubbard, "Baraka Sasa"; Wayne Shorter, "Infant Eyes"; Greg Osby, "Heard"; Thelonious Monk, "Hackensack"; and the gorgeous ballad, "Never Let Me Go"(Livingston-Evans). All this, plus 2 originals from Steve, and, a Cumbia driven Vallenato epic collaboration between Steve and Mariana Ingold.
Once again, the music was recorded by James Farber at Avatar Studios during January 29th-30th, 2014. Michel Granger's beautiful image graces the cover, and contributes its own particular "subtext."
Again, 55 Records(Japan); ESC Records(Germany/Europe) and Tone Center Records(USA) formed this important part of the team. 55 Records released the album on May 21st, and ESC Records released it on May 30th. The U.S. release just happened on June 24th, 2014. If you enjoyed "PARTING SHOT," you will surely love this new one!!!
As 2014 came to a close, John Kelman selected "SUBTEXT" as one of the BEST RELEASES OF 2014. Obviously, this was a great honor to placed in such excellent company!!!
A note from the Webmaster: Check out KHAN'S KORNER 1 which now has 87 hand-written solo transcriptions. Classic solos by: Miles Davis, Jim Hall, Grant Green, Wes Montgomery, Freddie Hubbard, Michael Brecker, Stanley Turrentine, Herbie Hancock, Clare Fischer, Chick Corea, Pat Martino, Kenny Burrell, Paul Desmond, George Benson, George Coleman, Steve Grossman, John Scofield, Gabor Szabo and Robben Ford, plus corresponding mp3s.
For August, we have returned and offer a unique look at the comping style of the great Kenny Burrell. His performance, fundamentally playing behind Clark Terry on the transformed interpretation of the Mexican folkloric classic, "Cielito Lindo," is a joy to hear from start to finish. It appeared on drummer Ed Thigpen's 1966 album for Verve, OUT OF THE STORM, which also featured the characteristic brilliance of both Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter. Transformed from the traditional 3/4 rhythms to a spirited Latin-influenced or Brazilian-influenced cut-time feel, the group's performance is filled with gems throughout. Take advantage of Steve's informative and insightful analysis.
To honor his birthday, March 29th, all through April we will celebrate Michael Brecker by presenting a solo on one of Steve Khan's early tunes, "The Hobgoblin Stomp" that only appears on a rather crude sounding 1972 demo by the group Future Shock. That group also included: Randy Brecker; Don Grolnick, John Miller and Bruce Ditmas. This demo recording was post-Dreams, and two fantastic Hal Galper albums, and offers a wonderful view into a tenor saxophone style that was destined to influence players the world over. In the text of Steve's analysis, there is also a link to an incredible soprano sax solo of Mike's from another tune on the demo. Don't leave the page without locating it and listening!
February brings a wonderful Chick Corea acoustic piano solo, that appeared on fellow Return to Forever member Airto's 1972 album for CTI, FREE. This joyous song was composed by Brazilian saxophonist Victor Assis Brasil, and on board for this performance were: Joe Farrell, Ron Carter, and Nelson Ayres. This solo embodies Chick's harmonic and rhythmic concepts pre and post his stint with Miles Davis. This is a great one, don't miss it!!!
For January, 2015, we began the new year by celebrating the life and music of saxophonist Michael Brecker and his wondrous 3-chorus solo over the Larry Goldings penned composition, "Sound Off" from Mike's 1999 album, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE(Verve). Supported by Goldings(organ), Pat Metheny(guitar), and Jeff "Tain" Watts(drums), the performance swings relentlessly. And so, in that spirit, we wished everyone a very, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Y, por supuesto, les deseamos un FELIZ AÑO NUEVO!!!
During 2014, we presented a collection of Steve's solos from SUBTEXT(Tone Center) that included: "Cada Gota de Mar"(December); "Bird Food"(November); "Blue Subtext"(October); "Never Let Me Go."(September); "Hackensack"(August); and "Bait and Switch"(July).
At KHAN'S KORNER 2, it's July and summer has arrived here on the east coast. To acknowledge the heat and humidity, we offer one of Steve's earliest Latin compositions from his 1st album in 1977 as a leader, "TIGHTROPE"(Antilles). "Where Shadows Meet," written now in 6/8, featured some fantastic playing from Don Grolnick; Will Lee; Steve Gadd and Ralph MacDonald, with wonderful synth orchestrations by Bob James. Hoping that all our visitors will enjoy this presentation.
For June, we presented a newly revised lead sheet for "Auxiliary Police," one of the signature tunes from the 1981 "EYEWITNESS"(Antilles) recording. This was our first experiment at a group composed, improvised piece of music. In a way, it was born of a double hi-hat that Steve Jordan had designed for him, and was debuting it, in stereo, on that recording. Though the design was primitive, the effect was really great. The piece also featured the brilliant subterranean harmonic explorations of Anthony Jackson, and the super-inventive World percussion imagined by Manolo Badrena. While visiting the studio on the day that we recorded this piece, bassist Will Lee chimed-in with its title.
During May, we offered "The Breakaway," an improvised and group-composed piece from "CASA LOCO." Recorded in 1983, it featured the innovations of Steve Jordan's hybrid drum kit, integrating Simmons electronic drums, and Manolo Badrena's hybrid percussion set-up that then featured the wild sounds created by Syn-cussion. Sprinkle in Anthony Jackson's inventive bass playing on his trusty old Fender 4-string, and we ended-up with a completely zany piece of music. What kind of music is this? Perhaps, you will draw your own conclusion? Steve's analysis is an insightful investigation of the group, and its process in attempting to improvise such things.
For March of 2015, in celebration of the BGO Records(UK) reissue of Steve's 3 Columbia albums from 1977-79, we presented the lead sheet for Randy Brecker's wonderful tune "The Big Ones" which appeared on "TIGHTROPE"(1977) and featured a stellar line-up of musicians that included: the Brecker Bros., David Sanborn, Don Grolnick, Bob James, Will Lee, Steve Gadd, and Ralph MacDonald. This is actually the first time that all three LPs will appear in the digital realm, though as an import, in the United States, Europe, and South America. This might be the only opportunity to have these albums as CDs.
During the 2014 Holiday Season we offered a treat with Steve's arrangement of "The Christmas Waltz," his father's one real Christmas song that reunited Steve with Randy and Michael Brecker for the 1995 JAZZ TO THE WORLD(Blue Note) album. The arrangement serves as a homage to influences as different as: Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Clare Fischer, and the Jazz Crusaders too. Wishing everyone a very HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON
With the arrival of autumn, October, 2014 is here and we're happy to share "Blue Subtext," the 2nd of Steve's original from "SUBTEXT." The tune began as an experimental play-along tribute to the lush and romantic keyboard harmonies of Clare Fischer. On the recording, that role was filled with love and care by the great Rob Mounsey. The changes to the tune are based upon a well-known Jazz standard, and serves as a great vehicle for Steve's playing. Quite out of nowhere, echoes of his guitar hero Wes Montgomery popped-up in couple of places.
"Bait and Switch" was the first tune posted from "SUBTEXT," composed as a tribute, in part, to the late, great Joe Zawinul, with whom Steve shared many stages and many miles of travel, conversations, and gin rummy, during the summer of 1986. Judging by the feedback, everyone seemed to enjoy reading about just how this tune was put together!!!
We celebrated of the simultaneous recent uploads to iTunes of Steve's catalog albums from the past, we are pleased to offer the last remaining composition, the title song from the "MODERN TIMES"(1982) album. This live album was the 2nd of three recordings with the original Eyewitness configuration that featured: Anthony Jackson, Steve Jordan, and Manolo Badrena. If you are or were a fan of that group, don't miss this special presentation of a newly revised lead sheet. Here's hoping that this never-ending winter of our discontent is almost finished!!!
When we arrived at September of 2013, it has been almost one full year since any was presented here. It was a most interesting cosmic accident when someone happened to send me a YouTube link for "Macbeth," which was a song that I had contributed to Mark Colby's 1979 LP, "ONE GOOD TURN." The recorded performance featured: Bob James, Gordon Johnson, Steve Gadd, and Portinho. Honestly, I hadn't heard it in years, perhaps two decades at the very least, but, as I have tried to share the lead sheets for all the original tunes, I was inspired to rewrite the lead sheets. And so, here they are, and they come to you with the hope that you will enjoy reading the analysis and the story of this particular composition.
In December of 2012, we presented the lead sheets for Steve's composition, "Rites of Darkness" which now appears on Volume 2 of the just released compilation, "MONTREUX SUMMIT" by the CBS Jazz All-Stars. Recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1977, this performance featured Steve alongside: George Duke; Bob James; Alphonso Johnson; Billy Cobham; and Ralph MacDonald. Though the performance has many flaws, on the odd chance that a new generation of players might find the tune interesting enough to try to play and perform made this presentation seem like a reasonably good idea. Steve's analysis offers insights into everything that happened leading up to the performance and the aftermath as well.
This site created and maintained by Blaine Fallis, A Train Creative, Inc. . Graphic design Blaine and Youngsuk Fallis. Written and edited by Steve Khan. Steve Khan illustration by NED SHAW. Don't miss Ned's latest at our ONLINE GALLERY!