Steve Khan

Arrows

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Arrows, the follow-up to 1978's The Blue Man, has Khan again signed directly to Columbia rather than Tappen Zee, where Bob James produced Khan's 1977 debut, Tightrope. With commercial considerations a non-issue and armed with a vague concept, Arrows is often a humorless and bleak affair despite the skills of the talented guitarist. Khan shares the production duties with Elliot Scheiner on this 1979 effort. Almost immediately, Arrows seems to suffer from a lack of direction. While the 11-minute-and-42-second concept song "City Suite" offers nary a memorable riff, "Candles" has Khan doing some great unnerving solos with Michael Brecker supporting on soprano sax. The insistent "Some Arrows" finds the rote backing of most Khan's fiery solos null and void. "Calling" has some of the tunefulness of Tightrope and has him easily accessing the sense of longing and drama the earlier tracks stumbled over. Like many albums of the time, Arrows is a New York effort through and through, with players like Don Grolnick, Randy Brecker, and David Sanborn doing sturdy work. Khan's work here is steady but the influx of fragments rather than songs causes Arrows to only be recommended to hardcore late-'70s jazz fans and guitar fanatics.

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