A trio of later albums from a guitarist who first rose to fame in the 70s! First up is Public
Access – a record that's got a slightly goofy cover, but a sound that's much richer than you might expect – thanks in part to great work on the album from percussionist Manolo Badrena! Some of the music here echoes the earlier fusion of guitarist Steve Khan – but other tunes bring in some warmer, Brazilian-y elements – including a bit of vocalization from Badrena, with occasional chorus work from Lani Groves and Vivian Cherry. The rest of the group features frequent partner Anthony Jackson on bass and Dave Weckl on drums – and titles include "Sise", "Silent Screen", "Mambosa", "Butane Elvin", "Botero People, and "Kamarica". The set then follows with three long tracks from Headline – a record that has guitarist Steve Khan almost returning to straight small combo work – although still with some of the wider colors of the fusion modes he first unleashed in the 70s! The album's got a tight core group here – Khan on guitar, Anthony Jackson on bass, Dennis Chambers on drums, and Manolo Badrena on percussion – and Chambers' drum performance is maybe more direct and swinging than some of Khan's previous drummers, which works especially well on the album's versions of songs by Joe Henderson and Ornette Coleman! Titles include "Caribbean Fire Dance", "All Or Nothing At All", and "Turnaround". Last up is Crossings – a great title for this set from guitarist Steve Khan – as the crossings here reflect Steve's increasing ear towards other cultures and rhythms in his music as the years moved on – even while still keeping things in a relatively fusion-based mode! Steve's got plenty of those warm colors that he always brought to his playing – working with a tight lineup that includes bassist Anthony Jackson, drummer Dennis Chambers, percussionist Manolo Badrena, and tenorist Michael Brecker. Titles include "Descarga Khanalonious", "Melancholee", "Inner Urge", "Capricorn", "What I'm Said", "Pee Wee", and "Think Of One".