Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

This is the 1st of your 3 free articles

Become a member for unlimited website access and more.

FREE TRIAL Available!

Learn More

Already a member? Sign in to continue reading

Steve Khan: The Green Field

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Ten years since his last album as a leader, guitarist Steve Khan enlisted the support of bassist John Patitucci and drummer Jack DeJohnette (who both played on 1996’s Got My Mental) for his new project, which adds percussionist Manolo Badrena. Ralph Irizarry (timbales) and Roberto Quintero (congas) join the quartet on four of the nine tracks, but the extra rhythm never overpowers Khan’s sleek, delicate originals and well-picked interpretations.

“Cosecha lo Que Has Sembrado” opens the floor for Irizarry, Quintero and DeJohnette to each take a solo over a vamp, while Quintero nearly steals the show in “You Stepped Out of a Dream.” A medley of Wayne Shorter’s “Sanctuary” and “Nefertiti” finds Patitucci’s bass and Badrena’s wordless vocals taking the melody of the former before the whole group comes in for the latter. Along with Herbie Hancock’s “Riot,” Ornette Coleman’s “Congeniality” and Thelonious Monk’s “Eronel,” the group hits its stride on Khan’s infectious “El Viñon.”

In fact the only low point is a rather big one: the 18-minute title track. The core quintet plays strongly, but the music never seems to connect or progress into something that doesn’t sound like warm-ups for the main event.