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Crate Digger’s Gold – Steve Khan – Evidence

February 1, 2013

steve kahnI was reading a review of my new turntable and this album was mentioned.  Hey I have that LP in my collection and I have not listened to it in years.  I pulled it off the shelf and have been spinning it for a couple of days now.

When Kahn recorded this album he was a very LA successful studio musician (e.g. Steely Dan).  I have not followed his career and this is the only album of his in my collection.  I am not sure how I even decided to buy it.  It was released in 1980 and my version is a cutout with a 1983 price tag – so I am guessing this was not a big hit.

This is all solo guitar – some songs have overdubs.  The masterpiece for me is Kahn’s cover of Zawinul’s “In A Silent Way.” Rather than source from the more famous Miles Davis cover, Kahn goes to Zawinul’s 1971 solo album.  Kahn makes the classic song his own overdubbing with half-dozen guitars. Kahn does not emphasize the obvious melody – but explores other parts of the song.

The rest of side one covers Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan, Randy Brecker and Horace Silver. Side two is a Thelonious Monk medley.

The recording is so great – you feel like you are in the room with Kahn and his guitars.  Today recorded guitars so often sound plugged into the board rather than miked.  For me that looses a lot of ambiance – I want to hear a guitar in a space and time.

A very mellow and contemplative album.

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