Reza Khan

 
 

Press/Reviews

REZA KHAN FORGES A FRESH, FREEWHEELING POP, JAZZ

AND GLOBAL FUSION DRIVEN ‘WIND DANCE’ WITH SOME

OF CONTEMPORARY JAZZ’S HEAVY HITTERS 

 

The Bangladesh Born and Raised, NYC Based Composer/Guitarist’s

Fourth Album – Launching With The Lead Single “Ride” -

Features Powerhouse Performances By Andy Snitzer,

Rick Braun, Mark Egan, Miles Gilderdale (Acoustic Alchemy),

Nelson Rangell, Philippe Saisse and Marc Antoine

 

 

Three critically acclaimed Jazz charting albums into his dynamic, multi-faceted career, Reza Khan’s music is a freewheeling mix of infectious pop, jazz and global influences, delightfully and defiantly transcending easy genre categorization. Still straddling the classical Indian and Bengali music of his youth with contemporary funk grooves and free form energetic sounds of Western rock and fusion, the Bangladesh born and raised NYC based composer/guitarist enlists a batch of contemporary jazz’s heaviest hitters on his latest album Wind Dance – whose high energy lead single “Ride” was recently released to radio.

Alternately intimate and explosive, exploring a wide range of grooves, moods and musical colors throughout, the 11-track collecdtion features powerhouse performances and solos by saxophonist Andy Snitzer (who provides emotional thrust on “Ride”), trumpeter Rick Braun, Pat Metheny bassist Mark Egan, Acoustic Alchemy guitarist Miles Gilderdale, sax/flutist Nelson Rangell, Philippe Saisse and Marc Antoine, whose snappy and playful flamenco guitar joins with Rangell’s spirited flute harmonies and Saisse’s whimsical piano and synth improvisations to create soulfully exotic magic on “Villa Rosa.” Many of these players have also contributed to Khan’s previous recordings, which include  A Simple Plan (2009), Painted Diaries (2011) and The Dreamwalker (2011).

While these greats ensemble alongside Khan to develop his original compositions, the guitarist remains committed to opening fresh creative floodgates for the members of his longtime live band – bassist Ray Dienneman, saxophonist Nigel Innes, drummer Bill Donnelly and guitarist Brian Taylor. He asked each to bring a composition into the sessions for Wind Dance. Dienneman and Khan wrote the summery, easy flowing funk driven “Sunset Highway,” while Taylor penned (and Khan arranged) the sensual and mystical ballad “East Bound” (so named for its hypnotic sitar touches). Touches of mysticism, Eastern instrumentation and earthy exoticism also infuse the dreamy and soulful “Bridge of Angels,” written by Donnelly and Khan and featuring Innes’ lush soprano sax.

Khan’s musical journey provides the perfect cultural parallel to the work he does for his fascinating and important “day job” as a program manager for the United Nations, where he contributes to peace operations and multiple conflict operations throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Prior to that, Khan, who graduated from Queens College with a degree in computer science, worked as a software consultant for numerous high level companies. Over the years, his calling as a humanitarian has led him everywhere from Latin America (where his introduction to poverty and human rights abuses inspired him to work for the UN) to Angola, where he was a member of a peacekeeping force in that war torn country. In the late 90s, he lived in South Africa, where he performed and composed music and also married and started a family.

“My musical career fulfills me in different ways while driving home the reality that music is the one force that can truly unite people from all races and geographic locations,” says Khan, who has built a loyal East Coast fan base while performing at NYC hotspots like BB Kings, Drom and Zinc Bar. “In situations where I walk into serious meetings, before I talk about anything related to peace, politics and security, I ask, ‘What do you like listening to?’ Three years ago, I was in Middle East talking to somebody who is a political activist, who is notoriously difficult to deal with. Instead of starting with talk of negotiations, I spoke to them about our mutual love for Arabic blues. Music has the power to bring worlds together beyond our wildest imaginations, and as an independent artist still excited about exploring so many different forms, I am finding that the potpourri of sounds still smells and feels good!”   

 

SmoothJazz.com

The inspiration behind world-fusion guitarist, Reza Khan’s 4th solo album release, WIND DANCE, came in an instance, upon a breeze and swirled meaning through movement into the recording artist’s mind. “This is a story of a Twilight Dream,” Reza recalls, which sparked a song title on the new album, he continues, “it happened in a breath of an instance or in a whole life, I don’t know.” This engaging collection is magical and mystical in a way that only Reza can harness through composition and playing. The guests on the project are as special as the music itself, including performances from Andy Snitzer, Philippe Saisse, Nelson Rangell, Mark Egan, Miles Gilderdale, and Marc Antoine. WIND DANCE will move your mind and body through a journey of sweet reflection and musical expression; prepare to be blown away!

The Smooth Jazz Ride

Reza Khan – Wind Dance

 

June 25, 2016

Reza Khan CD

Combining all manner of musical eclecticism from pop, jazz, rock, fusion, and world, Bangladesh-born and raised, New York City-based guitarist and composer Reza Khan is back with his 3rd installment of mind-charging melodies and hooks called Wind Dance, an undertaking that takes music to another level of excitement and wonder.

Khan is just not another musician with good artistic vision. His music is an extension of who he is as, by day, he serves as a program manager for the United Nations where he contributes to peace operations and many conflict operations throughout Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. In addition, his humanitarian efforts have led him to various parts of Latin America where he learned firsthand about poverty and human rights abuses. In fact, it was this eye-opening journey that led to his decision to work for the U.N. He also served as a member of a peacekeeping force in Angola. He also lived in South Africa in the late 90s where he married and started his family. To say that this artist has led a truly interesting, awe-inspiring life is truly an understatement. His creative music has only complemented that life.

Khan is joined on this album with some true C-jazz heavyweights, namely trumpeter Rick Braun, saxmen Andy Snitzer and Nelson Rangell (Rangell plays flute here), Acoustic Alchemy guitarist Miles Gilderdale, guitarist Marc Antoine, keyboardist/composer/producer Philippe Saisse, and Pat Metheny bassist Mark Egan. The result is a colorful cornucopia of majestic and artful beauty.

To demonstrate the definitive array of eclecticism shown here, you simply must witness the different textures between such tracks as the telling lead track “Ride” (which starts off moving along like a warm breeze then cranks up to an upbeat display of soulful expression featuring Snitzer’s sax), the pop/jazz/soft rock melodic touch of the title track, the funky grit of “Overdrive,” the tender World feel of “The Other Side,” the jazzy, South America-tinged “Sunset Highway” and “Villa Rosa,” and the very diverse “Bridge of Angels.” The entire album is an expression of individualism in the full sense of the word. So much musical wisdom to be taken from this recording.

If you seek a project that has that paint-with-a-broad-brush approach to jazz, this one should speak to you.

 

— Ronald Jackson, The Smoorh Jazz Ride