Monday, April 25, 2011

Khan Reunites Eyewitness; Eick Debuts on ECM - Bob Stewart

For guitarist Steve Khan, his new release -- "Parting Shot" -- marks the first time since 1994 that he has reunited his band Eyewitness, with Anthony Jackson on bass, Dennis Chambers on drums, and Manolo Badrena on percussion. This time there is something different, though. They now combine the looseness of their improvisations while adhering to the tenets of Latin music and the clave. To achieve this end, Khan also brought aboard dear friends and masters of the idiom, percussionists Marc Quinones and Bobby Allende. The program of music offers seven new Khan originals and inventive interpretations of tunes by Thelonius Monk and Ornette Coleman.

Norwegian trumpeter Mathias Eick made his first appearance on ECM Records as a sideman at the age of 23. From the outset, critics responded very positively to his vaulting melodic improvisations, often drawing comparisons to one of his main influences, Kenny Wheeler. His new disc -- "Skala" -- extends the concept and the panoramic sweep of his 2007 debut as a leader. It calls upon the services of more musicians and there is more detail in the arrangements. The disc pools new and older compositions written by Eick inspired, he says, by music from classical to pop.

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