Steve Khan Trio | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Steve Khan Trio 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Steve Khan squeezes from the guitar a tough, stringy sound shaped by a love for urban electric blues, and his solo lines get a rock-energy lift from the artful insertion of throaty chords. So at first glance you might think yourself in the presence of something other than a full-fledged jazz guitarist; in fact, the mainstream jazz audience found very little of note in Khan's contributions to the mid-70s success of the Brecker Brothers band, or in the several albums he recorded with his neo-fusion quartet Eyewitness in the 80s. But that all changed with last year's Let's Call This (Mesa Blue Moon), a meaty trio date that proved just as impressive for its repertoire--lesser-known tunes by Thelonious Monk, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter--as for the shaded modernism of its full-tilt performances. Khan actually essayed the jazz tradition on disc once before, in 1980, on a somewhat dreamy solo album called Evidence; but this latest effort finds a more mature guitarist playing music that's far more focused. Khan today rivals John Scofield for his portmanteau approach to jazz guitar, distilling both musical history and the instrument's evolution into a compact and savorous style. The improvisations have an often deceptive simplicity born of their admirable straightforwardness; even at slow tempos they seem to hurtle along, snatching the listener up in their wake. Tonight and Saturday, Bop Shop, 1807 W. Division; 235-3232.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/David Tan.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Neil Tesser

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Blue Stockings Den Theatre
September 13
Performing Arts
Oslo Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place
September 10

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories