What's Hot with Jazz Guitar: Steve Khan

by Doc Dosco

This week we are featuring veteran guitarist Steve Khan.

From Steve's online bio:

In a special issue of Japan's "JAZZ LIFE" magazine, they selected the 22
All-Time Greatest Jazz Guitarists. Of course, legends like Charlie
Christian, Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, and Jim Hall
were included alongside more recent giants George Benson, Pat Martino,
Larry Coryell, and John McLaughlin. But right there amongst
contemporaries John Abercrombie, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, Mike Stern
and Bill Frisell was Steve Khan! Testament to a large body of work which
now spans more than 30 years. Hard to believe this dream began at a
rather late age with Wes Montgomery held as the model to which to
aspire. Steve admits that, when he was a teenager, "I was a terrible
drummer with no musical training. I had developed a love for the guitar,
and when I was 19 I switched instruments. I decided that I would not
make the same mistakes I had made with the drums and studied hard in
college along with private lessons from Ron Anthony." During these
years, Khan always found himself in fast company and, from such
situations he learned, developed and survived. By the time he graduated
from U.C.L.A., in 1969, he felt ready to make the move to New York City.

From this point forward, so much of Steve's career is well documented.
In 1974, he performed in one of the first contemporary jazz guitar duos
with Larry Coryell. During this same period, he became a key member of
the Brecker Bros. Band. His first recordings as a leader were a trio of
well-received albums for Columbia Records titled: "TIGHTROPE"('77), "THE
BLUE MAN"('78), and, "ARROWS"('79). These recordings featured Michael
and Randy Brecker, David Sanborn, Don Grolnick, Will Lee, Steve Gadd,
Mike Mainieri and others. In 1994, Sony Music/Columbia released a CD
compilation drawn from these three LPs titled, "THE COLLECTION."

In 1980, Steve recorded a brilliant solo acoustic guitar album,
"EVIDENCE," which paid tribute to his earliest jazz inspirations and
served to establish him as one of the great interpreters of the music of
Thelonious Monk. Between 1981 and 1985, he worked and recorded steadily
with his quartet, Eyewitness, which included Anthony Jackson, Manolo
Badrena, and Steve Jordan. Together they made three recordings:
"EYEWITNESS"('81), "MODERN TIMES"/"BLADES"('82), and "CASA LOCO"('83).
During 1984, Steve joined with Steely Dan's Donald Fagen to interpret
Thelonious Monk's "Reflections" for the "THAT'S THE WAY I FEEL NOW"
recording which was a tribute to Monk and his compositions. When the
group needed a break, Khan joined Joe Zawinul's WEATHER UPDATE for it's
one and only tour in '86. This was followed by an innovative duet
recording with keyboardist Rob Mounsey. The Grammy-nominated CD was
titled "LOCAL COLOR" and was released in '87. In 1989, EYEWITNESS was
resurrected with Dave Weckl replacing Steve Jordan for the "PUBLIC
ACCESS" ('90) CD. Since that time, Steve has added two groundbreaking
straight-ahead jazz recordings featuring Ron Carter and Al Foster.
"LET'S CALL THIS" and "HEADLINE" were released in '91 and '92
respectively. In '94, Steve found himself back in the company of Anthony
Jackson and Manolo Badrena, adding Dennis Chambers and Michael Brecker
for "CROSSINGS," which is dedicated to the memory of Steve's late
father, lyricist Sammy Cahn.

Read on:


Steve's homepage:


Sound clips:


Doc Dosco is a jazz guitarist, composer and audio consultant living in Los Angeles, CA. His website is located at http://www.docdosco.com, where you can find more information on the 'What's Hot with Jazz Guitar' columns, audio clips of Doc's playing, and many additional features. Doc endorse Heritage Guitars and is a featured artist on their website. He also endorses the new Pignose Valve Tube Amps -- great for jazz (and anything else!)

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