• On March 15th, Steve returned to New York from a brief "European Tour" where he shared the various stages with one of his favorite drummers, the fantastically talented Joel Rosenblatt and, the recent Grammy Award winning bassist Charles Flores. The tour saw the trio playing to excited audiences who had not seen Steve playing in Europe as a leader in some 11 years. Once completed, the tour had covered cities in the following countries: Switzerland; Italy; Germany; Spain; and, the Czech Republic for a final concert on March 14th, in Prague. As it always is with all the time spent "on the road," there are stories to tell. And so, here are some of Steve's personal highlights: the lovely, the comical, the tragic, and the triumphant.
        [1] The 1st concert, which took place at Culturium in Basel, Switzerland, went very well!!! The people really seemed to love it, as a new personal World Record was reached when we played a 2 hr. first set!!!Steve Khan Triolectric I don't ever wear a watch when we play, so it was pretty wild to see what time it was when we had finished that set!!! Oh well, I guess that I have never been too economical with time, nor notes! Our sincere thanks go out to Stephan Sieber for making everything run so smoothly.
        Just to show you how crazy one can become, when viewing life while traveling, in my bathroom, in the Hotel Metropol, I was looking at, observing, the laying of the bathroom tile floor. And, I could see that this had not been an easy job to do, because there was no mathematical way to lay them out perfectly, according to their size. And so, the worker, who did this particular job, had to painstakingly lay-in really small pieces of tile, at strange angles and sizes, to fill-in the space between the last tiles and the wall. Yes, he could have done this by filling it all in with grout. But no, he made the effort to make it look artistic and good. So, what is the point that I am trying to make by virtue of this little observation?
        Well, I would simply have to say that this worker, the tile man, has a great sense of pride in his job! He is an excellent worker, a craftsman! Before leaving, I actually brought Joel[who built his own kitchen!!!] into the bathroom to show him these tiles. We both commented that this kind of care in one's job would sadly NEVER happen in our fair city of New York!!! How sad is that? I said to myself, I would like to meet this guy someday, because he is a great worker!!! Somewhere, within this little anecdote, is a lesson for all of us as musicians!!!
        And, lest I forget, for breakfast, I had the best hot chocolate there, ever!!! But, for crying out loud, it is Switzerland, there should be great hot chocolate, right?
        [2] However, life on the road, can really be too much!!! After flying back to Frankfurt, Germany, and then connecting to a flight to Rome, Italy, with our driver, Massimiliano, at the wheel, we then began the drive northeast to Trevi. But, to save an hour on the drive, Massimiliano had decided to take the "shortcut" through the mountains! And there, we encountered a HUGE snowstorm while climbing, and climbing, or should I say, while attempting to climb? And, of course, we got stuck!!! Aaarrrggghhh!!!! WHY is taking "the shortcut" always a bad move, and an eventual disaster?
        So, in order to proceed, Massimiliano had to try to attach some chains to the rear tires of the rented van, in the DARK!!! This reminds of my packing process. I want you all to know that I actually thought about including a little mini-Duracell flashlight, and, an extra pair of gloves! But, being "the perfect schmuck" that I am, I decided that I wouldn't need them!!! Oy!!! Our predicament was, at the beginning, a little comical, but soon, it became a little scary. Joel, in the end, had to help, because he actually knew better how to afix those damn chains. Amazing!!! By the time we got moving again, I was totally frozen, and suffering from a tremendous headache....probably from riding "shotgun" and from squinting at all the oncoming car lights.....the roads are totally unlit!!! So, after finally checking-in at the lovely hotel, I just burried myself in bed, w/ tons of blankets to try to get my poor feet to warm-up! As usual, no bathtub for me!!! After recounting this tale, via e-mail, to my dear friend, Guillermo Carrasco, he dubbed me with yet another nickname: Etiggio!!!
        Trevi was just gorgeous in its simple beauty, and Joel got some great photos of everything, including the centuries old concert hall, Teatro Clitunno, which was spectacularly regal, and an honor in which to play. But, is it possible that the true highlight was having a devilish "Panna Cotta Chocolate" dessert in the restaurant? That truly ranks, right up there, near the top. Here, our thanks go out to promoter, Marco Sarti, whom I hadn't seen since the Weather Update tour in '86.
        [3] The tour also took us to the quaint, beautiful, and once again,
    Steve Khan Trio concert bill very snow-covered, little town of Ingolstadt, Germany, which, during the early '90s had become a frequent stop on my European tours. After dinner, the 'traditional one' at the Greek restaurant near the club, while walking back to the gig, from just ahead, Charles Flores called out to me, and then, suddenly, I heard this huge rumbling sound, and the next thing I knew, about 20 lbs. of snow had fallen from the roof directly above me, and had totally smashed me directly over my head, and body.....including seeing snow going right down the back of my beloved leather jacket, my sweater, and my shirt. Damn, that was really cold!!! Of course, everyone who saw it happen became immediately convulsed in laughter!
        [4] If you are getting the feeling that I love playing the "little towns," you are correct! It was in Porto Sant'Elpidio, Italy that I was going to finally get to see, in person, my dear friend, and long-time promoter, Patrizio Chiozza and his beloved partner, Gea Marotta. And so, we all sat down together, alongside our local promoter, Battista Tofoni, and had a wonderfully festive meal.
        [5] Leading up to the final great highlight for me was our trek from Italy to Las Palmas, on the island of Gran Canaria in Spain. But, as we were to have a layover at the Barcelona airport, we knew that we would have the time for a feast of "Pulpo a la Gallega." Wow, compared to the general state of "airport food," this was a treat beyond belief!!! Wow!!!!
        Arriving in Las Palmas, I was greeted by one of my dear friends, Felipe Díaz, whom I hadn't seen in some 5 years. It gave our 36 hrs. there a warm and personal feeling. The concert, on the night of the 12th, proved to be one of best of the tour, as we played to a packed house, filled with energetic and enthusiastic fans. But, the joy of these things was made difficult for me to fully appreciate, as I had to play through the pain of an attack from my recurring lower back/disc[L-5] problem, which caused me to be unable to actually 'feel' my left leg for most of the 1st set. I had the sensation that IF I had stepped down on my left foot, or had moved that way, I would have actually fallen over. It was really frightening for me, and something which I had to fight to try and block out.
       
    Steve Khan Trio concert bill [6] The tour finished with a stop in Prague, Czech Republic and a return to the very wild Lucerna Music Bar. An interesting but, sonically speaking, strange venue because the stage seems to function as one gigantic sub-woofer, making it difficult for Joel and I to hear one another. In addition to this, there is a huge concert hall directly above us, and one can hear the rock group which was performing, plus the screaming and stomping of the crowd too!!! We were, of course, loud enough to overcome that!!! But, the reaction from the people to our music made everything worthwhile. A special thanks goes out to promoter Michal Hejna for the having the courage to bring us there.
        Through it all, I can only express how very, very much I appreciated the talents and efforts of both Joel Rosenblatt and Charles Flores. It is one thing to play at a consistenly high level, but it is another thing to also be great traveling companions, musicians who are totally responsible, and were never once late!!! We would all want to thank our host and organizer, Patrizio Chiozza, for making this little 'miracle tour' a reality. And, after two weeks on the road, I only lost one pair of gloves, and left my CD-R case on the floor of Battista Tofoni's van. And, my 20+ year old leather jacket, holes and all, survived despite the fervent protests from Charles and Joel. Thanks so much to all the fans who came out and expressed their appreciation for the music, I am grateful to each and every one of you. Hoping to see you all again next year, in '06!!!


  • Sometimes an opportunity appears and, though the demands might be great, the upside is obviously far, far more beneficial.....especially for one's creative soul. And so, with the arrival of a fantastic e-mail from the great drummer, and my longtime friend, Harvey Mason with an invitation to play two nights in an organ trio with virtually everyone's favorite contemporary organist, Larry Goldings, I knew that this was something which I absolutely could not pass up!
        One must consider that Larry has his own wonderful organ trio with Peter Bernstein(Guitar) and Bill Stewart(Drums). Then, he's also involved in a "TONY WILLIAMS LIFETIME TRIBUTE" with John Scofield and Jack DeJohnette. So, what does he need me for? And so, I accepted Harvey's invitation and took-off for Los Angeles, and the two-night stand on February 4th & 5th at Studio City's favorite musician's club, La Vé Lee to simply enjoy making music with these two great players.
        I cannot recall enjoying working with any keyboard player this much, in a "Live" setting, in many years. As you all surely know, I have spent the past 25 years exploring various trios and quartets and always without a keyboard. Larry Goldings' approach made everything seem so very easy, almost effortless. One just had to listen, and the space appeared. If not, the silences were of equal value. Though, in my earliest years in New York I "served some time" with organist Lonnie Smith, playing with Larry transported me back to some of my most profound memories of this treasured genre. Memories of the musical relationships between: Jimmy Smith & Kenny Burrell[At one point, Harvey led us into a little bit of "High Heel Sneakers"]; Larry Young & Grant Green[Yes, we did play "Tyrone"; "Backup" and "Street of Dreams."]; Mel Rhyne & Wes Montgomery; "Brother" Jack McDuff & George Benson; and, finally Don Patterson & Pat Martino!!! How easily it all came back to me. But, it was easy because Larry Goldings made it easy! And, of course, years of experience will tell you exactly what "feels" right, what is the "right thing" to do. You just have to follow your best instincts.
        As we only had time for one rehearsal, which was held at Harvey's beautiful home, we were not able to incorporate any of my original tunes into our "book." But, we did perform several of Larry's terrific tunes, which included: "Moonbird"; "Jim Jam"; "Asimov"; "Mixed Message"; "Pegasus" and "Subtle Digs." His tunes provided an insight into a great musical mind. One where melody, form, and overall musicality exist, and no questions need to be asked. Larry's compositions seem to play themselves, because they make such perfect musical sense. And, it should be noted that, it was all propelled by the relentless fire, creativity, and positive energy of our leader on these nights, Harvey Mason.
        Though I would never be so bold as to as to imagine that this might happen again, I can tell you that I will always hold dear these two nights of music-making with Larry Goldings. It was a wonderful experience! Thanks so much to Harvey for making it all happen. And, thanks so much to all the fans who came out to see us, and support the music, some coming from great distances(as far away as San Diego, Australia, and Japan), to fill the club.

        Oops! I almost forgot, just before our first set was begin, Harvey brought to the stage a "special guest" to introduce the group. Of course, I had NO idea just who this was going to be, and, of all people, it turned out to be Lawrence Tanter, the P.A. voice of the Lakers!!! For a devout Laker-hater like me, nothing could have been more absurd, and yet, totally more L.A. than this!!! And, best of all, when Lawrence turned to introduce me, he began by saying: "And, on bass..." Need I say more?!?! With help like this, it's a miracle that we survived!!!
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