Steve Khan

Last updated
Steve Khan
Steve Khan.jpg
Background information
Birth nameSteven Harris Cahn
Born (1947-04-28) April 28, 1947 (age 74)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Jazz, jazz fusion
Occupation(s)Musician, producer
Years active1969–present
Labels Columbia, Novus, Antilles, Denon, GRP, Mesa/Bluemoon, Verve, Evidence, Tone Center
Associated actsEyewitness, Brecker Brothers, Joe Zawinul, Caribbean Jazz Project

Steve Khan (born April 28, 1947) is an American jazz guitarist.



According to Steve Khan, his father, lyricist Sammy Cahn, "loved to hear of any and all versions of his songs". [1] Thus Khan grew up in a house with music. [1] He took piano lessons as a child and played drums for the surf rock band the Chantays. [1] The band's guitarist exposed him to the albums Tough Talk by The Crusaders and Movin' Wes by Wes Montgomery. [1] In his late teens he quit the drums and started playing guitar. [1] He was a member of the R&B band Friends of Distinction, recorded with keyboardist Phil Moore, then played on the album Bullitt by Wilton Felder ("one of my heroes"). [1] Despite his father's advice to avoid a career in the music business, he graduated from UCLA with a degree in music composition and theory. [1]

In the early 1970s, he performed in an acoustic guitar duo with Larry Coryell and was a member of the Brecker Brothers band. [1] As a session musician, he appeared on albums by Ashford & Simpson, Rupert Holmes, Billy Joel, and Steely Dan. [2] He was signed to Columbia Records through the efforts of Bobby Colomby and Bob James. [1] On his first three albums Tightrope (1977), The Blue Man (1978), and Arrows (1979), he was trying "to single-handledly keep alive the sound of the original Brecker Brothers band." [1] His next album was Evidence (1980), which contained an eighteen-minute medley of songs by Thelonious Monk. [3]

He has also produced recordings for fellow guitarists Larry Coryell, Mike Stern, Biréli Lagrène, and Bill Connors, as well as pianist Eliane Elias [4]

Awards and honors


As leader

Release dateTitleLabelMusicians
1977 Two for the Road Arista Acoustic guitar duo with Larry Coryell
1977 Tightrope Tappan ZeeWith the Brecker Brothers, Steve Gadd, Don Grolnick, Will Lee, Jeff Mironov, Ralph MacDonald.
1978The Blue ManCBSline-up similar to 1977
1979ArrowsColumbiasimilar to 1977, Rick Marotta, Gadd, Mounsey, Errol "Crusher" Bennett. David Sanborn on two tracks.
1980EvidenceArista NovusSolo guitar with compositions by Wayne Shorter, Horace Silver, Thelonious Monk.
1981Eyewitness Antilles Eyewitness quartet with Anthony Jackson, Steve Jordan, Manolo Badrena.
1985BladesPassportEyewitness quartet. Recorded live in Tokyo, Japan.
1984Casa LocoAntillesEyewitness quartet.
1987Helping Hand Polydor Eyewitness quartet plus Bill Evans, Clifford Carter, Neil Jason, Christopher Parker, Café, Japan only release.
1987Local ColorPassportDuo with Rob Mounsey.
1989Public Access GRP Eyewitness quartet as Khan, Anthony Jackson, Manolo Badrena, Dave Weckl.
1991Let's Call ThisBlue MoonTrio with Ron Carter and Al Foster.
1992HeadlineBlue MoonTrio with Carter and Foster.
1994Crossings PolyGram Eyewitness quartet
1997Got My Mental Evidence Trio with John Patitucci and Jack DeJohnette plus four percussionists: Café, Bobby Allende, Don Alias, Marc Quiñones.
2005The Green Field Tone Center Quartet with Patitucci, DeJohnette, Badrena, plus Roberto Quintero and Ralph Irizarry.
2007Borrowed TimeTone CenterSextet with Patitucci, DeJohnette, Badrena, Quintero, Irizarry.
2008The Suitcase: Live in Köln '94Tone CenterEyewitness trio with Dennis Chambers and Anthony Jackson.
2011Parting ShotTone CenterEyewitness quartet plus Allende, Quiñones.
2014SubtextTone CenterQuintet with Chambers, Allende, Quiñones, Rubén Rodriguez.
2017BacklogTone CenterFeaturing Allende, Quiñones, Rodriguez, Mark Walker, Mounsey, Randy Brecker, Mintzer, Mainieri, Tatiana Parra.
2019PatchworkTone CenterFeaturing Allende, Quiñones, Rodriguez, Chambers, Mounsey, Randy Brecker, Mintzer, Tatiana Parra, Jorge Estrada.

As sideman

DateMain recording artistAlbumLabelNotes
1975 Luther Allison Night Life Tamla Motown
1977 Ashford & Simpson Send It
1977Ashford & SimpsonSo So Satisfied
1979Ashford & SimpsonStay Free
1976 Patti Austin End of a Rainbow
1977Patti Austin Havana Candy
1979 Gato Barbieri Euphoria A&M Khan on one track
1975Joe Beck Beck Kudu Khan as second guitarist
1979 Joe Beck & David Sanborn Beck & SanbornKudu, CTI
1976 George Benson/Joe Farrell Benson & Farrell CTIKhan on two tracks
1977 Walter Bishop Jr. Soul Village
1976 Brecker Brothers Back to Back
1977Brecker Brothers Don't Stop the Music
1969 Tim Buckley Blue Afternoon
2000 Caribbean Jazz Project New Horizons
2001Caribbean Jazz ProjectParaiso
2000 Jimmy Cobb So Nobody Else Can Hear
1977 Billy Cobham Inner Conflicts
1978Billy CobhamAlivemutherforya
1978Billy CobhamSimplicity of Expression
2007 Paula Cole Courage
1975 Larry Coryell Level One Arista 12-string guitar on title track
1975Larry Coryell Planet End Vanguard Guest appearance
1976Larry Coryell Aspects AristaGuest appearance on acoustic guitar
1989 Eddie Daniels Blackwood
1989 Miles Davis Amandla
1992 Mark Egan Beyond Words
1989 Elements Liberal Arts
1982 Donald Fagen The Nightfly Acoustic guitar on "New Frontier"
1969 Wilton Felder Bullitt
1977 Maynard Ferguson New Vintage
1985 Aretha Franklin Who's Zoomin' Who?
1989Aretha FranklinThrough the Storm
1982 Michael Franks Objects of Desire
1985Michael FranksSkin Dive
1987Michael FranksThe Camera Never Lies
1993Michael FranksDragonfly Summer
1999Michael FranksBarefoot on the Beach
1976 Grant Green The Main Attraction
1976 Freddie Hubbard Windjammer
1977 Bob James HeadsTappan Zee/Columbia
1979Bob James Lucky Seven Tappan Zee/Columbia
1981Bob James Sign of the Times Tappan Zee/Columbia
1981Bob JamesAll Around the TownTappan Zee/Columbia
1983Bob JamesThe Genie: Themes & Variations
from the TV Series "Taxi"
Tappan Zee/Columbia
1983Bob JamesFoxieTappan Zee/Columbia
1984Bob James12Tappan Zee/Columbia
1987Bob James Obsession Warner Bros.
1995Bob JamesThe SwanTappan Zee/Columbia
1977 Billy Joel The Stranger Columbia
1978Billy Joel 52nd Street Columbia
1980 Chaka Khan Naughty
1976 Hubert Laws Romeo & JulietColumbiaKhan on one track
1977 Kenny Loggins Celebrate Me Home
1981 Mike Mainieri WanderlustWarner Bros.
1976 Steve Marcus Sometime Other Than Now
1992 Mendoza/Mardin ProjectJazzpaña
2005 Jason Miles CozmopolitanJason MilesKhan on one track. Self-released recording from 1979.
1969Phil Moore Jr.Right OnAtlantic
1977 Walter Murphy Rhapsody in BluePrivate StockKhan on two tracks.
1978 Pages Pages
1978 Eddie Palmieri Euphoria
1975Esther Phillips w/Beck What a Diff'rence a Day MakesKudu, CTIKhan on rhythm guitar
1976Esther PhillipsCapricorn PrincessKudu, CTIKhan on three tracks.
1976Esther Phillips with BeckFor All We KnowKudu, CTIKhan on rhythm guitar.
1989 Lou Rawls At LastBlue NoteKhan on three tracks.
1990Lou RawlsIt's Supposed to Be FunBlue NoteKhan on three tracks.
1997 Philippe Saisse Next Voyage
1989 Dave Samuels Ten Degrees North
1998Dave SamuelsTjader-ized: A Cal Tjader Tribute
1975 David Sanborn Taking OffWarner Bros.Khan is main guitarist here and wrote two of the nine tracks.
1978 Helen Schneider Let It Be Now
1985 Diane Schuur Deedles
1988Diane SchuurTalkin' 'Bout You
1980 Don Sebesky Sebesky Fantasy
1993 John Sebastian Tar Beach
1978 Ben Sidran Live at MontreuxArista
1984Ben SidranBop CityAntilles, Baybridge
1993Ben SidranLife's a LessonGo Jazz
2013 Janis Siegel Nightsongs: A Late Night Interlude
1977 Phoebe Snow Never Letting Go
1978Phoebe SnowAgainst the Grain
1977 Steely Dan Aja Khan on one track.
1980Steely Dan Gaucho
1989 Steps Ahead N.Y.C.
1992Steps AheadYin-Yang
1988 Mike Stern Time in Place
1999 Dave Valentin Sunshower
1976 Grover Washington Jr. A Secret Place
1989 Kirk Whalum The Promise
2005 Joe Zawinul Weather Update
2003 Guillermo Carrasco Una a la vezeMGKhan on guitar, tracks El Camino, El Arbol, Lucía.


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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Yanow, Scott (2013). The Great Jazz Guitarists. San Francisco: Backbeat. p. 109. ISBN   978-1-61713-023-6.
  2. Collar, Matt. "Steve Khan". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  3. Yanow, Scott. "Evidence". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  4. 1 2 "Steve Khan Biography". Steve Khan. Retrieved 30 September 2016.