Saturday, July 12, 2014

CD Review: Jazz Guitarists Steve Khan, Mitch Haupers and Gary Schwartz Release New Music


Jazz guitarist Steve Khan released his latest batch of compositions entitled "Subtext" on June 24. Named as one of the 22 greatest jazz guitarists of all-time by Japan's "Jazz Life" magazine, Khan has always assemble the best studio musicians to create his unique sound that is very appealing to jazz fans. The new nine-song release pays tribute to some of his favorite jazz musicians as he covers songs by Ornette Coleman, Wayne Shorter and Thelonious Monk. The album carries a Latin-flair as Khan takes on Coleman's "Bird Food," which allows guest artist Randy Brecker to lead the way with his horn solo. Khan steps to the plate with the original "Blue Subtext" as his fingers stretch out along the guitar's fret board on this up-tempo jazz number. The rhythm section of Dennis Chambers (drums), Marc Quinoes (bongo, percussion) and Bobby Allende give the Freddie Hubbard song "Baraka Sasa" its Latin flavor. Khan's guitar soars amongst the clouds in the mellowness of "Never Let Me Go," then they all come together to support the Spanish vocals of Mariana Gold on "Cada Gota De Mar." The album closes with wonderful jazz fusion, Santana-like feel of "Bait And Switch." To find out more about Steve Khan and his new album "Subtext," please visit stevekhan.com.


Esteemed Berklee College of Music faculty member Mitch Haupers makes his studio debut album, "Invisible Cities" a special one. Haupers invited top jazz musicians Alan Pasqua, Derek Oles, Peter Erskne and Bob Mintzer along for the ride. The album was produced by Yellowjackets co-founder Jimmy Haslip and was released on July 8th through Liquid Harmony Music. All of the music on this eleven-song set is original and features outstanding performances from this collaborative band of musicians. The gentle solos of "Downtime" gives the song its magical appeal, while the up-tempo rhythm of "Invisible Cities" showcases some of Haupers' best guitar work on the album. The highlight of this release is the "Four Minor Love Songs Suite," which takes you on a warm heartfelt journey, beginning with the gentle sway of the orchestrated "Take Comfort (In Rose's Garden)." Part four of the suite, "Beacon Street," allows members of Haupers' band to display their talents in this wonderful jazz piece. The album finishes with the quick, two-minute "P.S. Vita (Reprise)," which features guest Mike Miller on Brazilian guitar. To find out more about the recording debut of Mitch Haupers, please visit mitchhaupers.com.


Canadian jazz guitarist Gary Schwartz recently released his latest album entitled "Lettingo Live: The Music And Influence Of Ornette Coleman." It was recorded on January 18, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec at the La Sasa Rosa and features Schwartz' band of a dozen musicians including himself. The seven-song release begins with the fifteen-plus minute jam on the Ornette Coleman song "Lonely Woman" as almost every member finds a spot to take their lead solo. Schwartz follows that song with the slightly chaotic feel of one of his original compositions "Whatd'yasay?," before slowing the tempo for the gentle flow of "Broken Shadows" as Schwartz' guitar keeps the song's rhythm. The song "Law Years" has a classic jazz appeal, while "Hivemind" showcases keyboardist David Ryshpan on the jazz/rock infused original. The album closes with the nicely textured, warm sound of the band coming together for the finale "Between The Lines." The album "Lettingo Live: The Music And Influence Of Ornette Coleman" is available now through CDBaby and on iTunes.

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