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  1. #1

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    Here's a short bio I compiled on jazz/fusion guitarist Steve Khan who I've always liked.

    Steve Khan was born on April 28, 1947 in Los Angeles, California. He is a fantastic guitar player who at first became famous for his rock-jazz fusion playing but is actually quite well-rounded as many of Steve's albums fit more into the hard to classify area of post-bop. The son of the famous lyricist Sammy Cahn, he studied piano for 7 years beginning when he was 5 years old and also played drums with the instrumental guitar surf music group The Chantays who had the hit song "Pipeline" in the early 1960s.

    Because his father enjoyed hearing recordings of any and all variations of his own original hit tunes, jazz was constantly around in Steve Khan's home. Steve remembers when Bob Spickard, The Chantays' lead guitar player, turned him on to The Jazz Crusaders' "Tough Talk" and Wes Montgomery's "Boss Guitar" albums. However it was years later, when he acquired Wes Montgomery's "Movin' Wes" recording and heard "Caravan" that he realized he would never be a drummer who could play on the level of Grady Tate!

    At the age of 17 Steve Khan switched over to guitar and was soon playing gigs in the Los Angeles area. Through an unforeseen set of situations and his working with the R & B group The Friends Of Distinction he ended up playing and recording with keyboardist Phil Moore, Jr. That led to him performing on Wilton Felder's solo LP, "Bullitt". Steve could not believe that he was doing something with one of the members of The Jazz Crusaders whom he so admired.

    Steve Khan graduated from U.C.L.A. in 1969 with a B.A. in composition and theory. His father attempted to guide him away from the possible pain of creative mediocrity and towards a life as an attorney. But naturally, Steve didn't and wouldn't pay attention to any of that. After having performed with vibraphonist David Friedman and bassist John Miller while on a gig with Tim Buckley, Khan was invited to come to New York for the summer season of 1969 and perform live for a couple of weeks at The Music Inn. He soon moved there for good.

    A member of The Brecker Brothers by 1971, Steve Khan starting playing acoustic guitar duets with Larry Coryell between 1974 - 1975. Bob James and Bobby Colomby signed him to Columbia Records in 1977 which gave Steve the opportunity to shine as a solo artist when no one else seemed to be thinking about hearing him play. On his first recordings as a leader, "Tightrope", "The Blue Man", and "Arrows", Steve was all by himself attempting to keep alive the sound of the original Brecker Brothers Band.

    It's interesting to note that at one particular point in time during the 1970s, in or near the Chelsea region of Manhattan, the following legendary guitarists who were all friends with one another lived within a couple of blocks of each other: John McLaughlin, Ralph Towner, John Abercrombie, Bill Connors, John Scofield, and Steve Khan.

    Ever since that time Steve Khan has gone on to record a solo guitar set "Evidence" highlighted by an extended Thelonious Monk assortment of songs, founded and performed with the quartet Eyewitness during 1981 - 1985, toured with Joe Zawinul's Weather Update in 1986, performed with a variety of trios including Ron Carter and Al Foster throughout 1991 - 1992, and performed with Dave Samuel's Caribbean Jazz Project throughout 1999 - 2002. Steve has also performed as a guest guitar player on many other dates with everyone from Miles Davis to Gil Evans and Freddie Hubbard in addition to leading his own various bands.

    Hope you enjoyed!
    Steven Herron
    Jazz Guitar Tabs - Solos, Tabs Books, Instruction DVDs + Video Lessons

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2
    Nicely done Steven! I seem to recall him playing as a regular in David Letterman’s band with Paul Schaffer, or am I dreaming?
    Midnight Blues

  4. #3

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    Khan is a bit overlooked in jazz guitar I think. The Suitcase in particular is something of a desert island disc

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blues View Post
    Nicely done Steven! I seem to recall him playing as a regular in David Letterman’s band with Paul Schaffer, or am I dreaming?
    I'm not sure if Khan played as a regular in Paul Schaffer's band or not. That definitely would have been a fun gig!

    Regards,
    Steven Herron
    Learn To Play Chord Melody Guitar

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Herron View Post
    At one particular point in time during the 1970s, in or near the Chelsea region of Manhattan, the following legendary guitarists who were all friends with one another lived within a couple of blocks of each other: . . . John Abercrombie, Bill Connors, John Scofield, and Steve Khan.


    "Don't worry about that. Everybody talks about finding your voice. Do your homework and your voice will find you." - Branford Marsalis

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Herron View Post
    I'm not sure if Khan played as a regular in Paul Schaffer's band or not. That definitely would have been a fun gig!

    Regards,
    Steven Herron
    Learn To Play Chord Melody Guitar
    Seems as though he did? I'm pretty sure that's where I first heard about him? I think if was the late '80s and that's when I bought his first solo record (CD). I'll have to see if I can find anything about it.
    Midnight Blues

  8. #7
    Here's a Letterman clip


    Check out Guitarist Steve Khan - Home Page, a ton of great transcriptions and analysis in addition to other information

    PK

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by paulkogut View Post
    Here's a Letterman clip


    Check out Guitarist Steve Khan - Home Page, a ton of great transcriptions and analysis in addition to other information

    PK
    Thanks PK! I guess my memory isn’t as bad as I think it is!
    Midnight Blues

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blues View Post
    Seems as though he did? I'm pretty sure that's where I first heard about him? I think if was the late '80s and that's when I bought his first solo record (CD). I'll have to see if I can find anything about it.
    There's a Wiki entry for Paul Schaffer and The World's Most Dangerous Band, Letterman's house band. They list Hiram Bullock, Sid McGinnis, and Felicia Collins as being the only guitarists to have played in it.

  11. #10

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    I think especially Steve‘s Eyewitness group with Anthony Jackson, Steve Jordan and Manolo Badrena has been highly under appreciated. They were a big influence for me.
    I love his playing and his compositions

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by guitarbuddy View Post
    There's a Wiki entry for Paul Schaffer and The World's Most Dangerous Band, Letterman's house band. They list Hiram Bullock, Sid McGinnis, and Felicia Collins as being the only guitarists to have played in it.
    Thanks gb! The video that PK posted above confirmed my suspicions. Not sure why no one hasn't updated Wiki to reflect that?

    Hiram was a great player in his own right!


    Midnight Blues

  13. #12

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    Steve Khan was not full member of the World's Most Dangerous band but did sub during the early 80's. Attached below is a clip from 83' showing a rehersal with the musical guest Toots Thielemans. Steve can be seen around the 1:38 mark. He mentions this date on hist website.


  14. #13

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    I love Steve's work with Dennis Chambers and Anthony Jackson. He is one of the few guitarists who used a chorus that I didn't get annoyed by, tone-wise.

  15. #14

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    Steve's new album was released on Friday.

    Steve wrote on Facebook:

    "PATCHWORK" is NOW AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE @ iTunes!!! Yes, it is a bit bizarre that the DIGITAL RELEASE of the new album has arrived a few weeks ahead of the release of the CDs, and ahead of radio play too, at least here in the USA. The reasons for this are complex, but at a moment like this, a joyous moment, it is hardly worth going into here. At present, it appears that the CD will be released on September 13th! Believe it or not, I haven't even seen one yet myself. It is a wonderful looking package with another cover image from the wondrous Michel Granger, and a design by the great Janet Perr. Oh yes, the music......
    I can tell you that, on March 18th & 19th, we entered Sear Sound here in New York City, and recorded the album. With brilliant production coordination by Jill Dell'Abate, without whom I would have been completely lost, those gathered included: Rob Mounsey, Marc Quiñones, Rubén Rodríguez, Bobby Allende, and Dennis Chambers, plus the presence of guest artists including: Randy Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Tatiana Parra and Jorge Estrada. The album was engineered by James Farber and was mastered @ Sterling Sound by Greg Calbi. I am so fortunate that the audio elements were in such caring and fine hands/ears. Now, at least digitally, if you choose to, you can hear what we did!
    In all, we performed arrangements of compositions by: Thelonious Monk, "Epistrophy"; Ornette Coleman, "C. & D." and "T. & T."; Joe Henderson, "A Shade of Jade"; Bobby Hutcherson, "Bouquet"; and Keith Jarrett's "The Journey Home." As always, the recording features a gorgeous ballad: "Too Late Now" written by Alan Jay Lerner and Burton Lane. For the 1st time, there is a "BONUS TRACK," for downloads only, a spectacular interpretation of Eden Ahbez' "Nature Boy" featuring the beautiful voice of Tatiana Parra.
    Over the many years, in interviews, and in private conversations, I've been asked about finding one's own voice on their instrument, or in music, and it took me a long time to formulate what has now become my default response, and that is this: "Don't waste time and energy thinking about or bemoaning what you can't do, concentrate on seeing what it is that you do do well, and rejoice in that!" With that kept in mind, and held in one's heart, I can say at this moment that, and I am speaking more about life than about music, "Yes, there are many things that I can't do, or that I don't do well, or that I do not do close to as well as when I was considerably younger - not for the lack of trying - but, I do feel a sense of some pride in knowing that I can now say that, all my failings aside, I can do THIS!!!" Wherever this inspiration for this album came from this time, I am eternally grateful for this moment in my life. I never thought that this could happen again.
    For those of you who have stayed with me for all these years, especially since 2011, I am so grateful for your support and words of encouragement. Thank you all so much!!! I hope that, whenever you hear the music that you will enjoy it to the fullest.

    Patchwork by Steve Khan on iTunes

    Steve Khan - A Short Biography-69263404_10157734935269994_2993337457916772352_n-jpg





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  16. #15

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    An interview with Steve Khan, filmed 24 April 2019.


    London Jazz Guitar Society:
    www.meetup.com/londonjazzguitarsociety
    LJGS on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LDNJazzGuitar

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Average Joe View Post
    Khan is a bit overlooked in jazz guitar I think. The Suitcase in particular is something of a desert island disc
    I loved his stuff with Anthony Jackson on bass and Dennis Chambers on drums. Khan is one of the few players whose chorused tone doesn't grate on my nerves.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Kahn View Post
    I've been asked about finding one's own voice on their instrument, or in music, and . . . my default response . . . is this: "Don't waste time and energy thinking about or bemoaning what you can't do, concentrate on seeing what it is that you do do well, and rejoice in that!"

    With that kept in mind, and held in one's heart, I can say at this moment . . . "Yes, there are many things that I can't do, or that I don't do well, or that I do not do close to as well as when I was considerably younger - not for the lack of trying - but, I do feel a sense of some pride in knowing that I can now say that, all my failings aside, I can do THIS!!!"
    Words to live by there. Thank you @David B!
    "Don't worry about that. Everybody talks about finding your voice. Do your homework and your voice will find you." - Branford Marsalis