April 20, 2006
If you like your jazz served with a cerebral twist, Steve Khan and his cohorts—legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette, bassist John Patitucci, and percussionist Manolo Badrena—have got your number. Throughout the album’s mix of originals and covers (including tunes by Ornette Coleman, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, and Wayne Shorter), Khan relies on quartal harmony and a watery, boldly chorused tone to create an impressionistic, oblique vibe. His other signature sound—consisting of a harmonizer set at dissonant intervals and used to double single-note lines—gets plenty of play as well, adding a restless edge to many passages. DeJohnette’s churning, skittery drums propel the ensemble with the subtlety of an express train, and on a handful of tracks, two percussionists add an Afro-Cuban fire that contrasts nicely with the well-chilled guitar timbres. (Tone Center).