- "PARTING SHOT" had a planned release date of April 26th, but, this was delayed until May 10th, due to a printing error, but 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 "PARTING SHOT." 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." This continued when "BORROWED TIME" was released in 2007. In all three cases, they were originally written to give some personal and historical perspective for what would be the Japanese liner notes, it is now hoped that everyone can benefit from reading just what went into both of these wonderful recordings.
- The first of the critiques that came in was a most thoughtful and intelligent REVIEW of the new CD, by allaboutjazz.com's senior writer, John Kelman. As always, the support from this great website and Jazz resource is most welcome
- Once again, via the great allaboutjazz.com site, you can read a superb review, this time by Mark F. Turner, who has written beautifully about all of Steve's recent recordings. Don't miss this one!!!
- From the September, 2011 issue of "The Absolute Sound" magazine we find Bill Milkowski's great review of "PARTING SHOT."
As long ago as his 1983 outing, Casa Loco, guitarist-composer-producer Khan had been hinting at this kind of infectious Latin-jazz fusion. He's made several gestures in this direction over the years, most recently on 2005's The Green Field and 2007's Grammy-nominated Borrowed Time. But never before has his vision of this possibility been so fully realized as on Parting Shot.
A bona fide fusion guitar hero during the late '70s (his trio of Columbia albums - Tightrope, The Blue Man, Arrows - is considered essential listening), Khan was also a ubiquitous session musician who appeared on recordings by everyone from The Brecker Brothers, Billy Cobham, and David Sanborn, to Steely Dan, Billy Joel, and Chaka Khan. His adventurous group Eyewitness (The Police meets jazz) became his main focus through the 80s. An accomplished player with a jazz pedigree and a penchant for interpreting Thelonious Monk on the guitar, Khan spend the '90s playing in straight-ahead guitar trio settings with the likes of bassist Ron Carter and Al Foster (documented in 1991's Let's Call This) and bassist John Patitucci and drummer Jack DeJohnette (1997's Got My Mental). Parting Shot reunites him with Eyewitness bandmates Anthony Jackson on contrabass guitar and Manolo Badrena on percussion and vocals. the lively Latinized session is anchored by all-world drummer Dennis Chambers (currently in Santana) while conguero Bobby Allende and timbales and bongo player Marc Quiñones add authentic Afro-Caribbean flavor to the proceedings.
They come out of the gate with a joyously percolating take on Ornette Coleman's "Chronology" (on Borrowed Time, Khan did a Latinized version of Coleman's "Mr. and Mrs. People"). Khan's clave-fueled "Los Gaiteros" perfectly fits the program, with Jackson nailing the tumbao groove, Badrena coloring with perfectly placed cowbell accents, and Quiñones and Allende forming a churning latticework pattern of percussion underneath. On Khan's cha-cha, "Change Agent," the guitarist dip into a blues bag on his extended solo while Badrena injects humorous sonic mayhem via assorted hand percussion and his digital Syncussion set-up. Monk's "Bye-Ya" is cleverly rendered as a rumba while Coleman's "Blues Connotation" is given a new suit of Afro-Caribbean clothes.
Is a funky descarga based on a riff from James Brown's "Doin' It To Death" (aka "Gonna Have a Funky Good Time"). Badrena contribute his inimitable free-spirited vocals on this 10-minute throwdown. the earthy groover "Influence Peddler" is enhanced by the ethereal vocalese work of Tatiana Parra and Andrés Beeuwsaert while the mellow ballad "When She's Not Here" (dedicated to "the wondrous, romantic harmonies of Clare Fischer") has special gust and longtime Khan collaborator Rob Mounsey enhancing with lush synth string orchestrations. Khan reserves his most aggressive blues-tinged six-string work (sounding quite a bit like Robben Ford or Larry Carlton) for the lyrical "Zancudoville," which he dedicates to the people of Venezuela. They close with the energized rumba "Just Deserts," which has Khan wailing through a harmonizer and features a barrage of chops on the kit from drum monster Chambers.
the title of this affecting collection is a reference to Khan's assertion that, due to economic constraints in these uncertain times, this will be his last recording. Here's hoping he changes his mind - Bill Milkowski
- From the Fall, 2011 issue of "JAZZIZ" magazine we find Ross Boissoneau's review of "PARTING SHOT."
Steve Khan has long been a leading light on the jazz-guitar scene. His career has encompassed everything from duets with Larry Coryell to membership in the Caribbean Jazz Project to recording sessions with Miles Davis and Steely Dan. But he shines brightest on his own projects, and Parting Shot - Khan's first entire album of Latin jazz - is no exception.
A dearth of inspiration and opportunity had prompted Khan to question whether he'd continue to record, hence the album title. However, the injection of Latin sabor seemed to restore his creative energy, at least for now.
The disc opens with Ornette Coleman's "Chronology." The odd meter keeps the percussion section - Dennis Chambers, Manolo Badrena, Marc Quiñones and Bobby Allende - on their toes. Khan adds fillips to the melody and fluidity ranges between single notes and chords. With the gentle beats bouncing back and forth from left to right speaker, Khan picks out his accented lines on his own "Los Gaiteros." The percussion section switches roles on "Change Agent" - the guiro and the afuche keep the beat, while Chambers' rolls and cymbal splashes provide color. Khan swings gently on this standout tune, one of the disc's most enjoyable.
By contrast, Thelonious Monk's "Bye-Ya" provides room for Khan to stretch. Chambers is more delicate than usual, and, as on most of the recording, bassist Anthony Jackson seems content to remain low in the mix. Another Ornette tune, "Blues Connotation," allows Khan additional improv opportunities, as he effortlessly picks out notes and comps against himself. The following "Zancudoville" is actually bluesier, and Khan's electric guitar sounds like it would feel right at home on a Santana or a Steely Dan album
Layered sound prevails. Timbales, congas, pandeiro, voices and whistles meld with Chambers' drums and Jackson's solid, swinging bass. Khan effortlessly showcases both chops and taste throughout. His stellar playing never comes across as grandstanding, and it all sounds of a piece, from Monk and Coleman to the originals by Khan and company. With luck, this "parting shot" will instead prove to be a shot in the arm. - Ross Boissoneau
- From the November, 2011 issue of "JUST JAZZ GUITAR" magazine we bring you Tim Fischer's review of "PARTING SHOT."
Influenced by his studies of Puerto Rican, Venezuelan, and Colombian music, guitarist Steve Khan's album Parting Shot (Golpe de Partida) presents ten songs in the Latin jazz format. Khan is supported by long-time cohorts Anthony Jackson on bass, Dennis Chambers on drums, Manolo Badrena on percussion, and is augmented by Marc Quiñones on timbal, bongo, and percussion, and Bobby Allende on conga. Each song features a healthy dose of cowbell, which Khan argues in the liner notes is integral to a true Latin percussion sound. In addition to the traditional rhythm section and auxiliary percussion, several tracks feature synthesizer pads and vocals to provide additional changes in texture.
Khan's writing on the album features a great deal of groove-oriented modal vamps that serve as a launching pad for Khan's bluesier playing. The musicians take their time with each tune, successfully conveying the feeling that they are happy to be jamming together and digging into the groove. The two longest tracks on the album, "Maria Mulambo" and "Influence Peddler," are both over ten minutes in length.
Khan's bluesier ideas are often contrasted with bebop- style left-hand slurs, showcasing Khan's diverse range of influences. His chord voicings display a personal approach to harmonizing; Khan often utilizes three-note grips reminiscent of post-bop pianists McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock.
In addition to the seven original compositions on the album, Khan presents arrangements of Thelonious Monk's "Bye-Ya," and Ornette Coleman's "Chronology" and "Blues Connotation." While these tunes feature a faster harmonic rhythm compared to most of the originals on the album, they lose none of the groove established in the other tracks. - Tim Fischer
Steve Khan is one of the best jazz guitarists around, and is back with a new album Parting Shot, the follow-up to 2008's The Suitcase. In his band are longtime members Anthony Jackson (contrabass guitar), Dennis Chambers (drums), Manolo Badrena (percussion, voice) as well as Marc Quiñones (timbal, bongo, percussion) and Bobby Allende (conga). This is a crack band and their years of playing/recording together shows in the music.
This is Khan's first all Latin jazz release, influenced by his time spent in Venezuela and Colombia. The Latin rhythms and grooves are absolutely infectious, and Khan's prowess on the guitar is a virtual highlight on every track. His sense of melody and imagination is evident throughout these ten tracks which include seven originals and three covers.
His interpretation of the classic Ornette Coleman tracks "Chronology" and "Blues Connotation" are fabulous, with the former featuring breezy lead guitar and rhythmic flourishes, and the latter having a deep bass groove surrounded by Khan's innovative playing. The other cover is a reworking of Thelonious Monk's "Bye-Ya" where Khan's crystal clear lead guitar speaks volumes, and his passion for the greats of the past is surely realized.
Of course, he also shines on his own compositions like the bold Latin sound of "Zancudoville" where hints of Santana come to mind, and the guitar has a little extra bite. On the ten plus minutes, "Influence Peddler" Khan's silky smooth leads and rhythms wind their way through Chamber's amazing drum work. The percussion of Allende and Quiñones also deserves to be mentioned as their playing is vital to the CD's Latin sound.
Other highlights include the tasty mellowness of "Los Gaiteros" and the laid back Latin grooves of "Change Agent" where the percussion and drums are highlighted once again.
Steve Khan and his band have really nailed it with Parting Shot, a wonderful Latin infused jazz album, where each musician is allowed to shine making this a real keeper. Recommended for all fans of Latin and jazz.
November 5th, 2011 - Jon Neufeld "SEA OF TRANQUILITY"
- In August, Woodrow Wilkins wrote a great review at his page, THE JAZZ WRITER. His final quote was greatly appreciated: "Here, the music has a striking balance between Khan's guitar, exceptional songwriting, and the performances of his supporting cast."
- In October, Don Zulaica wrote a nice review for, iDrum magazine. As one would expect, he sings the praises of Dennis Chambers throughout the review which is wonderful to see!!!
- One of the last reviews to come in, February, 2012, was Dick Metcalf's review of "PARTING SHOT."
If totally professional jazz guitar is what you're looking for, you can't do any better than Steve - I reviewed a whole slew of his releases (several issues back) and fell in love with his smooth, yet energetic & lively style. And, as I listen to the opener on this 10-track CD, "Chronology," I can't help but thinking - this BETTER NOT be a "departure album".... this is way cool stuff! Steve hearkens back to my days of DOW-un & FONK-ee with the jiggle-bounciness of "María Mulambo".... just love this tune! It was the driving beat on the 4:52 "Blues Connotation" that got my vote for favorite track, & racked up (literally) hours on my Zen Touch 2.... some of the most unique jazz guitar work you'll ever hear! This CD gets my MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for those who can't do without a bit of guitar and novel playing in their jazz; "EQ" (energy quotient) rating is 4.99.... and Steve/Krew get my "PICK" of this issue for "Best Jazz Guitar CD." - Dick Metcalf
- From France, and conducted by by Frédéric Goaty for one of their most important Jazz magazines, Jazz Magazine/Jazzman comes an incredible INTERVIEW which serves as a retrospective of Steve's recorded work, and was so extensive that here it has been divided into two parts. When you have read all of Part I, you will see a link at the bottom of the page that will take you to Part II. Longtime fans are going to really love this one!!!
- From the Netherlands, via Venezuela, we have Bea Rondón Callejero's stupendous REVIEW that appears on the website for her innovative Web radio program, "Callejero Music Radio." She states the following, por supuesto, en Español!
Mientras hay artistas latinos que luchan por ser reconocidos en el mundo americano y se preocupan por ser parte de la farándula del negocio de la música, el guitarrista estadounidense, Steve Khan, desde hace muchos años, hace discos de jazz latino con influencias afro cubanas, brasileras y africanas, demostrando un gran amor a la cultura latina tras su larga trayectoria y reconocimiento mundial a su música que lo convierte en uno de los mejores guitarristas de Jazz.
Steve Khan acaba de presentar su más reciente propuesta jazzística latina con un CD titulado "PARTING SHOT - Golpe de Partida" en donde participan Anthony Jackson, Dennis Chambers, Manolo Badrena, Marc Quiñones y Bobby Allende.
Khan es un compositor orgánico. Se hace acompañar por un ritmo sólido, digno de una banda como la de Machito trasladado a la década de 2000 para lograr un sonido cálido y dulce. Su guitarra es la estrella, como en cada uno de sus discos, pero las raíces africanas están allí, su música es mestiza. En este álbum los temas Los Gaiteros y Zancudoville los dedica a Venezuela, país que ha visitado varias veces y del cual quedó enamorado por siempre.
La música de Steve Khan es única, particular y está llena de raíces. Hay un detalle muy importante de este cd y es la actuación especial de Manolo Badrena quien aporta muchísimo con sus detalles en la percusión y en su voz.
Todo esto hace de este disco uno de los mejores de Steve Khan, estadounidense de nacimiento y caribeño de sentimiento. ¡Felicitaciones, Steve!
- From Madrid, Spain, I was sent a link to Antonio Fernández' great review, also in Spanish, of course, which appeared in the July, 2011 issue of his Jazz blog, "Vive Jazz." So, for all our Spanish speaking visitors, we are now sharing this with you.
Escucho a Steve Khan desde los 70' y quiero empezar afirmando que la coherencia ha sido siempre la mejor de sus virtudes. Brillante músico, compositor y escritor de libros, con la guitarra como protagonista de los mismos, Steve pertenece a ese selecto grupo de músicos que hacen lo que quieren, sin tener en cuenta "recomendaciones" de ninguna discográfica. En el pasado, ha colaborado en estudio o directo con grupos como Weather Update, Steely Dan, Blood Sweat & Tears o CBS All-Stars y, también, con otros músicos o intérpretes, siempre de primer nivel, como Hubert Laws, Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Michael Franks, Billy Joel o James Brown, entre otros. También ha pertenecido a prestigiosas bandas de jazz contemporáneo como Eyewitness (Steve Jordan, Anthony Jackson y Manolo Badrena), Elements (Bill Evans, Gil Goldstein y Clifford Carter) y Caribbean Jazz Project (Dave Samuels y Dave Valentín).
Ahora, Steve Khan ha editado "Parting Shot," todo un tratado de jazz latino sin importarle en absoluto el hecho de que la guitarra eléctrica nunca haya sido un instrumento fundamental en este estilo. El repertorio del disco. está conformado por sus propias composiciones, a las que hay que sumar "Blues Connotation" y "Chronology" ambas de Ornette Coleman y "Bye-Ya" de Thelonious Monk. Con el sonido cálido e inconfundible de su guitarra, esta adquiere un lógico protagonismo pero que, en absoluto, "ahoga" al resto de músicos que intervienen en "Parting Shot", todos ellos extraordinarios y cuyos nombres son de todos conocidos: Anthony Jackson (bajo), Dennis Chambers (batería) y Manolo Badrena, Mark Quiñones y Bobby Allende, en las percusiones. Dando la sensación de un grupo "sólido" y sin fisuras, Steve Khan ha podido desarrollar, con el grupo, su particular sueño de realizar un álbum conceptual e íntegro dedicado al jazz latino, conservando la tradici&iocute;n de este estilo, pero con diseño vanguardista.
- Brand new, we find Ángel Romero's review that appears in the May 31th edition of "World Music Central." He titles the review: "Beguiling Latin Jazz" and the review concludes with the following phrase: "An extraordinary powerful Latin jazz album by one of the finest guitarists in the American jazz scene." One can't hope for much more than that!!! Mil gracias Ángel!!!
- Ya tenemos otra buena ENTREVISTA! Y por supuesto, ¡En ESPAÑOL! Escrito por el gran periodista de Jazz, Ragui Vega Curry, en "EL NUEVO DÍA" desde La Isla del Encanto, Puerto Rico. ¡Vaya!
- Entren hasta la cocina en que se hizo "PARTING SHOT" y conozcan sus secretos. ¡En ESPAÑOL! Aunque la ENTREVISTA originalmente fue hecha en Inglés, ha sido traducida por mi querido amigo, el ingeniero industrial y periodista de Jazz, Felipe Díaz, de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, España. Esperamos que todos disfruten de su lectura.
- From the U.K., we have a great review from their DRUMMER MAGAZINE which focuses on the stellar contributions of Dennis Chambers to "PARTING SHOT"
On Parting Shot, guitarist Khan indulges himself in his increasing love of Latin music, accompanied by Manolo Badrena and Marc Quiñones alongside Dennis Chambers at the kit and the mighty bass of Anthony Jackson. The inspired sextet applies the Latin treatment to Monk's 'Bye-Ya,' Ornette Coleman's 'Chronology' and 'Blues Connotation' and seven Khan originals, blending groove, melody, musicality and virtuosity, with Chambers in top form, providing some great Latin grooves and blistering solos on 'Change Agent' and 'Just Deserts.' - Brent Keefe
- Another great review from, Mark S. Tucker's that appears online via "Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange." My thanks to him for not only getting what this recording is about, but also for the wonderful anecdote recounting his reaction to hearing "Where's Mumphrey?" for the first time from the "EYEWITNESS" recording back in 1981. Thanks Mark!!!
- Yet another very perceptive, thoughtful and well-written review arrived by Matt Pollack and it appears in the June issue of "GAME VORTEX." One just never knows where a great review might appear. We are all very pleased by this one!!!
- We were sent an advance copy of John Heidt's "PARTING SHOT" review that appears in the September issue of "VINTAGE GUITAR magazine."
Steve Khan is a masterful guitarist who plays familiar music while pushing the envelope. PARTING SHOT is no different in that its 10 songs are cut with a Latin feel that, in lesser hands, could become dull. But with Khan and the band assembled here, nothing is standard or boring.
Khan composed many of these tunes, and his soloing dominates. The mysterious feel of "Los Gaiteros" is pushed by a bass line from Anthony Jackson as Khan solos beautifully. "Change Agent" is polyrhythmic, with soloing from Khan that never fails to surprise. And when he mixes chords and single lines, it's a treat to hear him build a solo.
As a rhythm section, Dennis Chambers (drums), Manolo Badrena (percussion), Marc Quiñones (timbal, bongo & percussion) and Bobby Allende(conga) act as soloists on several cuts, and are featured on virtually every song. "María Mulambo" has a funky intro with slinky guitar chords and a bluesy solo that builds over the Latin feel. While Khan originals are wonderful, so are the covers; two Ornette Coleman songs get slightly off-kilter readings used to full advantage. Thelonious Monk's "Bye-Ya" has killer changes, a memorable melody, and a solo that ties it into a neat little ball.
Recorded in just two days, this disc is loose and spontaneous, but its intricacies reflect a group who went in knowing what they wanted. - John Heidt
- Just in from one of our must important magazines in the USA, we have Bill Meredith's "PARTING SHOT" review that appears in the July issue of "JAZZTIMES."
On his new album, PARTING SHOT, the underrated guitarist Steve Khan continues exploring a Latin sensibility and reunites his '90s-era Eyewitness quartet of bassist Anthony Jackson, drummer Dennis Chambers and percussionist Manolo Badrena, adding Marc Quiñones(timbal) and Bobby Allende(conga). The graceful rhythm players allow Khan to apply clave rhythms to a couple of Ornette Coleman compositions - the opening start-and-start arrangement of "Chronology," a buoyant cover of "Blues Connotation" - and a sashaying facelift of Thelonious Monk's "Bye-Ya," but a few of the guitarist's seven compositions speak with an even better accent. His opening chord patterns on "Change Agent" form the eight-minute track's infectious hook, and Badrena's chanted vocals provide a soothing contrast to the intermittent percussive fury within the inside-out groove of the closing "Just Deserts."
But the CD's centerpiece is the 10-minute "María Mulambo." The track opens with Khan playing a James Brown-like rhythmic pattern (think "Doin' It to Death"), but the slow, strutting cadence features an insistent Afro-Cuban undercurrent in 6/8. Badrena sings the verses in Portuguese, and the multiple percussionists provide both persistent clatter and verbal chatter, resulting in a street-party feel. Such topography is propelled throughout the disc by the sonically exciting rhythm section of Jackson and Chambers, who seem to inspire Badrena toward his Weather Report heights of the late 1970s. If this is indeed the parting shot for Khan's half-decade-long Latin-jazz phase, he and his associates have made a very strong closing statement. - Bill Meredith
- We just received Rick Anderson's terrific "PARTING SHOT" review that now appears in the June issue of "CD HotList."
Guitarist Steve Khan is always worth hearing, and this Latin-themed album is one of the best he's released in some time. Some of the credit goes to his accompanists, who include legendary bass guitarist Anthony Jackson and equally legendary percussionist Manolo Badrena. But Khan's brilliantly inventive and ceaselessly tasteful guitar playing is at center stage, and it is a constant pleasure to hear. Highlight: a bouncing Latin arrangement of Thelonious Monk's "Bye-ya."
- Just in from the July 2011 issue of Austria's "CONCERTO" Magazine, we have a great review of "PARTING SHOT" by Wolfgang Taschl
American guitarist Steve Khan can look back on an very long and exciting career. During the '70s, he was a much in demand studio guitarist, and worked and recorded with, amongst others: George Duke, Miles Davis, The Brecker Brothers, and George Benson. In the '80s, he had great success with his band Eyewitness. He also toured with Joe Zawinul's Weather Update and later helped to reform the Caribbean Jazz Project. For his new studio album PARTING SHOT, he reassembled his Eyewitness compatriots: Anthony Jackson on bass, Manolo Badrena on percussion, and Dennis Chambers on drums, augmenting them with Latin percussionists Marc Quiñones and Bobby Allende. Together, they recorded seven new pieces, and interpretations of "Chronology" and "Blues Connotation" by Ornette Coleman, and "Bye-Ya" by Thelonious Monk.
What one hears is fine, elegant Latin-Jazz that shines because of the perfect rhythms. The recording possesses just the right amount of groove, and is brilliant because of its
looseness which ensures many suprises for the listener.
- And, from Switzerland's "JAZZ 'N' MORE" Magazine, we have a 5-star review of "PARTING SHOT" by Gino Ferlin
Although Steve Khan has released numerous albums, and has played with musicians such as Miles Davis, George Duke, The Brecker Brothers and Billy Cobham, he has remained a well-kept secret. With this CD, the son of songwriter Sammy Cahn, fulfills his dream to record an entire album of Latin music.
Accompanying him are Eyewitness (Steve's band from the '80s) veterans: bassist Anthony Jackson, drummer Dennis Chambers, and percussionist Manolo Badrena. Here the group is augmented by the exquisite Latin percussion tandem of Marc Quiñones and Bobby Allende. The usually more funky and rocking sounding Khan plays most elegantly on this effort. More sensitive than ever, he chooses atmospheres and textures; sometimes angular, and then more subtle as he leads the group through seven originals, two Ornette Coleman tunes, and one by Thelonious Monk. Together with his ever empathetic partners, all in absolute top form, Steve Khan manages to transform his interpretations of Jazz and Latin music in a gripping way. It is virtually impossible for one to escape from the rhythmic fire that this band triggers! - GF
- Hot off of the Web, Brent Black's super review now appears in the April 29th issue of "Digital Jazz News."
Grant Green on steroids.
Not since Grant Green, and "The Latin Bit" some 40 years ago,
has a guitarist of this stature attempted to tackle Latin music.
Steve Khan tackles it, and the result is: "best recording I have heard all year..."
Steve Khan, "PARTING SHOT"(Golpe de partida)
"Parting Shot" reunites Khan with contrabass guitar wizard Anthony Jackson, and the incredible Dennis Chambers on drums. Toss in world class percussionist Manolo Badrena, Marc Quiñones on timbal, bongo and percussion and Bobby Allende on conga and you get what I like to call "groove cubed." Among the seven Khan originals you will find two stunning Ornette Coleman covers, and a most intriguing take on Thelonious Monk's "Bye-ya."
"Parting Shot" draws you in, engaging but never overpowering. There is a wonderful flow of improvisational energy you would be hard pressed to find elsewhere. Guest artists Rob Mounsey and vocalists Tatiana Parra and Andrés Beeuwsaert only add to the flavor and texture of this stellar recording. The driving percussion of "groove cubed" adds layers of musical excitement, and allows this collaborative effort to develop its own unique identity. The improvisational feel to this recording allows the musical chemistry here to literally bleed through your speakers.
From the stunning cover art of Michel Granger to the last note of "Just Deserts," not to mention the numerous cowbells thrown in for good measure, "Parting Shot" is flawless in performance and presentation!
"Parting Shot" re-emphasizes Khan's brilliance, not as a jazz guitarist or fusion guitarist but as a "musician" with passion and respect for his craft, and a sincere desire to share that with the world. It gets no better than this. Best of 2011 by far.
Around the same time period, during June of 2011, Brent Black conducted an extended Interview with Steve, and you can read the text right here. Of course, the interview included a couple of most unexpected questions!
Just now, I was sent an advance copy of Rafael Vega Curry's review, in Spanish of course, which will appear in the May 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.
Junte perfecto: El gran guitarrista Steve Khan reaparece con un CD de jazz latino
que es a la vez sabroso y profundo!
Steve Khan, "PARTING SHOT"(Golpe de partida)
En el primer álbum de jazz latino dirigido por un guitarrista en casi medio siglo, Steve Khan vuelve a hacer gala del sonido limpio y hermoso de su guitarra eléctrica, acompañado por una banda estelar: su bajista y baterista de los últimos años, Anthony Jackson y Dennis Chambers, respectivamente, así como los percusionistas Manolo Badrena, Marc Quiñones y Bobby Allende. Es un junte perfecto entre la percusión burbujeante y la manera minuciosa en que Khan investiga las posibilidades melódicas y armónicas de sus nuevas composiciones, como "Change Agent" - un jubiloso cha cha cha - así como clásicos de Ornette Coleman ("Blues Connotation") o de Monk ("Bye-Ya" en versión de bomba).
"PARTING SHOT" is the latest Tone Center release from acclaimed jazz guitarist Steve Khan. He's assembled an all-star cast of musicians here on this enjoyable 'latin jazz' affair, including bassist Anthony Jackson, drummer Dennis Chambers, and percussionists Manolo Badrena, Marc Quiñones, and Bobby Allende. Khan, Chambers, Jackson, and Badrena all played together years ago in Eyewitness, but this is the first time the four have recorded together in nearly 20 years. PARTING SHOT is chock full of tasty, swinging, melodic Latin jazz, rich on drums & percussion, and Khan's sweet guitar tone.
Steve's been an integral part of the jazz & jazz-fusion scene for so long that sometimes we tend to take for granted just how good a player and songwriter he really is. On PARTING SHOT, he mixes in some fine originals with a few classics by Thelonious Monk & Ornette Coleman. "Change Agent" is one of those hot originals, and features Khan ripping some sizzling leads over Jackson's deep contrabass, and plenty of rhythmic grooves from the percussion team. Monk's "Bye-Ya" will certainly get you up on your feet due to its addicting rhythms, and the Khan/Badrena original "Maria Mulambo" is another groover with tasty licks and Manolo's Portuguese vocals. Chambers really struts his stuff on the Coleman classic "Blues Connotation," alongside some quirky & complex guitar lines from Khan, and the guitarist goes for a more West Coast, Larry Carlton feel on the laid back "Zancudoville."
All in all, PARTING SHOT is another winner from the always dependable Steve Khan. Long time fans of the guitarist, and the genre in general, will be pleased with the results here, and as a band effort, these musicians have hit a home run with this one.
May 14th, 2011 - Pete Pardo "SEA OF TRANQUILITY"
Here's a nice REVIEW from Martin Kasdan which appears in the June, 2011 edition of the Louisville Music News in his section titled:
EIGHTH NOTES: My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama
Steve Khan, "PARTING SHOT"
Guitarist Steve Khan is a musician's musician, with credits ranging from duets with Larry Coryell to working with Steely Dan. His solo resume is impressive, dating back to the 1970s. When I first received Parting Shot, I was afraid the title may have referred to Khan's retirement , but fortunately, I was wrong. Parting Shot is Khan's first album to focus on Latin rhythms, and features mostly originals, plus his renditions of two Ornette Coleman songs, "Chronology" and the classic "Blues Connotation," plus Thelonious Monk's "Bye-Ya." The core band is Khan's Eyewitness, with the great Dennis Chambers on drums, Anthony Jackson on contrabass guitar, and Manolo Badrena on percussion, plus additional percussion from Bobby Allende and Marc Quiñones, with other musicians guesting. Khan and company get the album off to a lively start with "Chronology," with Latin and jazz-rock styles deftly blended. An early highlight is Khan's "Change Agent," which sounds like something Tito Puente might have done, if he used an electric guitar to replace his horn section. "Maria Mulambo" is a tip of the hat to the Godfather of Soul's "Funky Good Time," heavy on the percussion. Khan's ballad "When She's Not There" provides a gentle respite, with an orchestration by Rob Mounsey, before the seriously funky take on "Blues Connotation." Overall, the mostly stripped down ensemble of guitar, bass and percussion provides Khan with an opportunity to flex his guitar muscles, to fine advantage.
Here's a terrific review from Thorsten Hingst, who writes for one of Germany's most important music magazines, "JAZZ PODIUM." And so, with the translation help from a couple of good friends, here's roughly what he had to say:
Steve Khan, "PARTING SHOT"(Golpe de partida)
Steve Khan was always a musician of a slightly different kind than most of his colleagues from the endless phalanx of '70s "string hired guns." His 1977 debut album, "TIGHTROPE" and, its follow-up "THE BLUE MAN" from 1978, bear witness to a musician in search of himself. A guitarist turning his back on the faceless "California smooth sound" that so many of his peers, seeking solo careers, fashioned at the time. His "Monk Medley" from the "EVIDENCE" album provided the evidence of that.
In 1981, Khan founded Eyewitness with Anthony Jackson, Steve Jordan and Manolo Badrena. Bassist Jackson and percussionist Badrena have remained true companions to this day, and have been an important part in the conceptional developement and the direction of Khan's music. They are part of the "PARTING SHOT" team, alongside drummer Dennis Chambers, conguero Bobby Allende, and timbalero Marc Quiñnones, who is often seen with the Allman Bros. Band.
After Steve Khan came to grips with a prolonged case of writer's block, he wanted to focus even more on the Latin influences that have colored his compositions, and his music for such a long time. He can claim a total success for himself, and not just in terms of rhythmic orientation. The Songo groove, developed by Los Van Van percussionist José Luis Quintana, dominates his interpretation of Ornette Coleman's "Chronology." Monk's "Bye-Ya" finds itself so very comfortable on a rhythmic "bed" made from the Puerto Rican Bomba groove. Khan and his fellow musicians are experts in transferring the classics into the diversity of the Caribbean-South American rhythmic cosmos.
The guitarist shines with his ideosyncratic harmonic language, and his most unique and unusual voicings. Also on display on "PARTING SHOT" is his airy, floating and highly personal guitar sound. Everybody who likes Jazz Guitar, apart from standard interpretations and standard sounds, everybody who loves to caress his ears with high-class guitar Jazz (and not just while cruising in a convertible), should feel encouraged to pick up "PARTING SHOT." You will not be disappointed!"
A great review from Frédéric Goaty, who writes for one of France's most important music magazines, "JAZZ MAGAZINE/JAZZMAN." In the following issue, July, 2011, Fred's fantastic 8-page interview with Steve was featured. If it is your main language, you can read it in French, but, with the translation help from a couple of dear friends, I will roughly offer what Fred had to say:
Steve Khan, "PARTING SHOT"
NOUVEAUTÉ. Depuis la fin des années 70, ce guitariste n'a cessé de se renouveler et d'enregistrer des albums plus attachants les uns que les autres. "PARTING SHOT" ne déroge pas à la règle. On y retrouve tout ce que l'on aime chez lui, cette absence totale frime et son corollaire - une musicalité de tous les instants - ce son chaleureux, ces mélodies instantanément indentifiables, ces reprises de choix (Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman), sans parler du groove discrètement phénoménal - si, si, c'est possible - prodigué par sa fidèle section rythmique et des épices latinisantes saupoudreées avec allégresse par ses experts en percussions brûlantes. Parmi les grands de la guitare jazz-rock, Steve Khan est certes moins (re)connu que certains de ses pairs, mais ceux qui savent que les maîtres du genre ne sont pas tous Fangio du médiator savent qu'il est un musicien important. Et pour encore mieux comprende son importance, vous pourrez lire dans notre prochain numéro une interview exceptionnelle de cet acteur décisif du jazz des années 70. En attendant, nous vous invitons à déguster cet album pétillant d'invention fruitée.
NEW! Since the late '70s, this guitarist has not ceased to renew himself, and record more albums, one connected to another. "PARTING SHOT" is no exception to the rule. It includes everything you have come to love: the total absence of excess and filler - playing that is totally musical at all times - the warm sound, instantly identifiable melodies, including great interpretations of Jazz standards by Thelonious Monk and Ornette Coleman, not to mention the phenomenal groove that is driven further by his faithful rhythm section, and spiced-up with Latin spirit by three experts in hot percussion. Amongst the greats of jazz-rock guitar, Steve Khan might be less well-known than some of his peers, but those who understand that, the true masters of the genre are not all speed merchants, know that this plectrist is a truly important musician. To better understand his importance, you can read an interview with this outstanding player in the forthcoming July issue, and discover why he has been such a seminal figure in Jazz since the '70s. In the meantime, please enjoy this great new album, rich with sparkling invention.
Just in from Great Britain, we have Andy Robson's "PARTING SHOT" review that appeared in the June issue of "JAZZWISE" magazine from the U.K.
It's taken the best part of 40 years, but Khan has finally got around to recording a full-on Latin influenced album, and by gum, it's worth the wait! What underwrites this splendid album is the choir of percussion that ebbs and flows beneath Khan's long, mellifluous guitar lines. Be it on Blues Connotation which has him and Anthony Jackson doubling-up lines with a contagious joy, or on the samba-inflected Bye-ya (Monk meets Jobim, a deliriously daft mix). Of course, it helps that Khan has long-time pals Jackson and Dennis Chambers on board, allowing the music to flow with a hip-sway swing. There are darker shades too, as on the Martino-like knottiness of Los Gaiteros, or the blue meditation, When She's Not Here. But, it's the Latin vibe that enriches this welcome release, even on the inevitably Steely Dan-like groove of Influence Peddler.