When two legendary artists decide to collaborate on a very special one-song project, the results are expected to be magical. So the pairing of vocalist Mark Kibble, the 15 time Grammy award winning singer known for his brilliant work as the lead arranger of Take 6, along with guitarist Steve Khan gave good reason for such excitement.
That they chose to reinterpret singer/songwriter Shuggie Otis’ Island Letter from his 1973 album “INSPIRATION INFORMATION” conjured up thoughts that anything might be possible on this musical journey. In a business where categories become essential, music writers classified Shuggie’s music as “Psychedelic Soul.” Here the Kibble-Khan tandem creates a musical impression that will also stretch the boundaries of labels.
Steve Khan set about the task of creating an arrangement that would feature his identifiable style on acoustic guitar, supported by his signature Strat orchestrations, and would become a part of the musical foundation with the sense of a wondrous satin pillow of harmony and rhythm that finds Mark Kibble’s voice and sensuous harmonies as the jewel resting on top. Even after all these years, it becomes hard to imagine that one person, one vocalist, Mark Kibble could actually create every single voice that is heard within this performance, but that is what you are now listening to.
The realization of this musical adventure was completed by the spectacular keyboard playing and orchestral sonorities of Rob Mounsey, an artist who has been working with Steve since 1979. The pulsing 5-String Electric Bass was supplied by the incomparable Rubén Rodríguez. The final percussive touches were added by the remarkable talents of Marc Quiñones on conga, timbal, bongó, güiro and maracas. All of these great, great players are longtime collaborators with Khan.
Recently, after a string of ground-breaking albums in the Latin Jazz vein, Steve Khan was labeled as “the voice of the guitar in Latin Jazz!” An honor that he wears proudly, and now, in its way, the spell weaved by “Island Letter” only adds to that legacy.
In these times, it is rare that artists might be able to release one song, a single, but this is the case, and Blue Canoe Records is proud to be the label to bring this extraordinary song performance to the public.
We welcome to the Blue Canoe family of Artists - Rafael Greco
Rafael Greco's CD titled, "Dice Que Vive (Signs Of Life)" features guest appearances from Steve Khan, Randy Brecker and a host of talented musicians. Learn more about the personnel and CD by clicking this link.
d. mark owen is a seasoned pianist, keyboardist, producer, arranger, music director, mixing and mastering engineer, and proprietor of his own innovatively designed studio Nonebody Productions (with partner and drummer Cam Tyler). Based in Las Vegas, Owen is currently Associate Conductor of Cirque Du Soleil’s mammoth production KÁ. He is the lyricist and coleader, with Cam Tyler, of the pop group Cryptic Cadet, which released the 2021 album Disconnected featuring vocalist Olivia Rubini, electric bass giant Tim Lefebvre (David Bowie, Wayne Krantz, Elvis Costello) and other fine musicians.
Owen has just released the largely one-man album Respite on Blue Canoe Records, connecting sparkling acoustic piano, lush synth pads and intriguing harmonies to clear and expressive melodic lines, grounded in a percussive groove sensibility. The result is a set of original instrumental pieces with ample tonal and thematic sophistication, engaging melodies and richly contrasting moods.
Owen graduated Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music, where he studied with Bob Winter, Jeff Covell, Christian Jacob, Dave Frank and Andy LaVerne. Before he finished 6th grade he’d taken up trumpet, drums and piano, but committed himself fully to piano by his junior year in high school. He has also played guitar and bass professionally. Prior to his Las Vegas chapter, he did extensive studio work as manager, producer and engineer of Citywalk Studios in Missouri, contracting sessions for clients, writing commissioned works and delivering TV and radio spots for hire. Among his album production credits are Bill Caldwell’s Common Tones (featuring Steve Cardenas, Bob Bowman, Todd Strait, liner notes by Mike Metheny), Dave Tieff’s The Art of Peace, Jimmy Carpenter’s Soul Doctor, Mighty Joe King’s The Human Revolution and more. Owen is above all a sound artist, bringing his considerable acumen and wide-ranging experience to bear in every professional context.
Rock and Jazz Guitarist Mike Miller releases a beautiful ten song album titled Trust. Mike is best know for his work with Chick Corea, Boz Scaggs, Bette Midler, Yellowjackets, Quincy Jones and so many more.
Mike brings all of his years of experience into this incredible body of wok. “Trust” features guest appearances from Jimmy Haslip, Jimmy Johnson, Jimmy Earl, Scott Kinsey, Brandon Fields, Gary Novak, Marilyn Scott, Jeff Babko, Chad Wackerman, Airto Moreira and so many more talented artists.
“Trust” is a must have for fans of Mike Miller which features rich original compositions, stellar improvisations and prowess interplay and technique. This is a gorgeous, inspiring album and a must have for music fans everywhere!
TriTone Asylum is based in Southern California. Spear-headed by Peter Sepsis (bass) and Philip Topping. Through their unique instrumentation, they have masterfully developed an electro acoustic sound that melds Jazz, funk, and music from around the world. TriTone Asylum’s music reflects the varied musical landscape of the sounds and street rhythms of Los Angeles. Their original songs are influenced by a variety of artists including Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, Pat Metheny, as well as artists from the ECM Label.
In Parabbean Tales Iwan combines the rhythms and melodies of Caribbean music and contemporary jazz with a strong groove to weave a narrative of his childhood and express the love for his native music. Iwan’s career as a trumpet and keyboard player, composer, arranger and producer spans over twenty-five years of touring, performing and recording as a solo artist and with some of the greatest names in the industry including Candy Dulfer and Sister Sledge.
Trumpet: Iwan VanHetten
Piano, Keys: Russell Ferrante
Bass: Melvin Lee Davis, Jimmy Haslip (tracks #5,#7)
Drums: Will Kennedy
Percussion: Lenny Castro
Steel Pans: Andy Narell (tracks #7, #8)
Sax: Bob Mintzer (track #6)
Recorded at Castle Oaks Recording Studios, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Recording Engineer: Rich Breen
Mixing: Iwan VanHetten (at VanHetten Productions, UK)
Mastered: Peter Beckmann (Technology Works, London, UK)
Photography - Anael Miantsoukina (Paris, France)
Art Design - Aaron Paddock