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Reza Khan —Next Train Home

Apr. 30, 2019

On this C-jazz site, I’m going to dare to call up the title of a Salt ‘n’ Pepa 90s rap classic, “Whatta Man,” to properly characterize this brilliant Bangladesh-born composer/guitarist/producer Reza Khan. I do so to illustrate his extremely impressive work ethic. His latest release Next Train Home has such a riveting story of dedication and commitment.

The album lays out such an eclectic train track to this “Home” to which he refers, combining elements of straight-ahead and contemporary jazz, as well as World and Brazilian magic. It is an album composed while Khan, a United Nations program manager, was on a six-week trek abroad including places like Mali and Uganda. It turned out to be so draining and exhaustive a trip that he suffered dehydration and had to be hospitalized. After convincing his doctors to allow him to recover in a hotel room rather than in a hospital environment, the imaginative artist penned the title track. Whatta man.

Joining Khan on this project are guitarist/producer Nils, keyboardist/pianist/producer Philippe Saisse, saxmen Jeff Kashiwa and Andy Snitzer, and the multi-talented David Mann on flute and sax, just to name a few. They all certainly help to paint Khan’s canvas with broad strokes and the deepest of musical colors.

Tracks like “Drop of Faith,” “Gathering,” and the title track are expressive, clever, and imaginative.

“The title ‘Next Train Home’ represents a destination where I feel totally comfortable and at ease surrounded by familiar sounds, emotions, and conviction as an artist. The “Home” is testament of a destination as an artist looking for a signature in recognition, style, and branding. After a long soul-searching exercise moving from genre to genre, I feel like I am finally settled as a writer, composer, and stylist.” Don’t just take his word for it. Let his music speak for itself. Reflective and moving all at once, you’ll get his point. — Ronald Jackson