George Kahn
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George Kahn


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"Midnight Brew"

Pianist/Composer/Arranger George Kahn presents the best mixture of various styles of jazz on Midnight Brew. Kahn keeps the historical aspect of jazz alive by showing that earlier forms of jazz that made the genre popular in the 40's can still be used today to satisfy any taste in jazz. Kahn gets his sense of style from working commerically on films and advertisements. He shows on every track that he can sell a song.

For straight ahead jazz lovers, Kahn salutes fellow pianist Dave Brubeck with the CD's title track. He also pays homage to Billy Higgins with A Bop for Billy and to John Coltrane with 12 Short Years. Smooth jazz lovers will enjoy Kahn's take on the Motown favorite Heard It Through the Grapevine and Stevie Wonder's Don't You Worry About a Thing.
One of the amazing things about Midnight Brewis the originals that George Kahn presents. Otro Tu and Night Shadows show how Kahn can write in the straight ahead mode while bringing about contemporary feelings and structure. Kahn can also work wonders on vocal arrangements, such as show on Out of Time, featuring vocalist Tierney Sutton.
Kahn does get strong backing from his main group of supporting players, but also uses guest talent very well. Saxophonist Eric Marienthal gives life to Heard It Through the Grapevine, but with the right amount of soul that fits Kahn's style. Flutist Justo Almario has the smooth groove to Night Shadows that gives that special touch.
Midnight Brew shows the experience and the sensitivity that George Kahn has. No wonder he is asked to work in other media by others. However, Kahn should do more in his solo career and Midnight Brew hopefully should lead into more releases. Draw me another.
Artist's Website:
Reviewed by: Norm Breest

"...Compared To What - liner notes"

I’ve always liked George Kahn. There is a constant that runs through his music: its always hip. You name it, Kahn plays it and his music makes me feel good: I like that.

Hearing him for the first time years ago struck a chord of pleasure and enjoyment in me… It’s the elusive and blissful id that Jazz lovers everywhere live in constant search of, finding music that touches something deep inside, reaching a secret place that’s hard to pinpoint but that’s unmistakable when you hear it and feel it…

While incorporating contemporary elements, Kahn has an uncompromising sense of musicianship and respect for tradition. George Kahn’s music has an eye – or an ear – toward the future, without neglecting the foundations and traditions of Jazz. Not only is Kahn’s music creative, entertaining, intelligent, sophisticated and stimulating, it’s also fun! That’s why I like George Kahn, and know that you will too.
- Alfredo Cruz, Jazz Broadcaster

"Freedom Vessel"

Reviewed by Greg McLaughlin:
Quality. If I could write a one word review for Freedom Vessel without risking admonishment, that is the word I would use. This song is so good I almost feel guilty about downloading it for free.

George Kahn’s instrumental Jazz release is billed as being inspired by the fusion-era work of Miles Davis, and the similarities are more than superficial. The track starts with a bass line that lasts for the entire 7 minutes – however the layers of sounds and melodic phases for the other instruments vary frequently, making for an illustrious and very serene musical journey. This approach is similar to that of Davis’ “Bitches Brew” and “Pharaoh’s Dance”. Each section gets a chance to play the lead temporarily, and all of them work very well. Particularly impressive is the saxophone section, which makes fantastic use of dynamics without so much as faltering on a note (as a former sax player, I was able to appreciate the mastery). The trumpet and piano sections are also quite impressive, while the detailed percussion (far from just keeping the beat) has a certain groove factor that makes the song that much more attractive.

The mixing and recording are flawless. The performance is enthusiastic and expressive – it sounded like these guys were have fun! This is every bit as important as the technical aspects (for which I was unable to find any serious glitches anyway). And despite the song’s length, it never gets boring - not even for a minute.

The essence of jazz is that which can appear to have direction while structurally tending to the formless. Freedom Vessel achieves this and does so very stylishly. This is easily one of the best tracks I’ve heard anywhere, never mind online. Anyone who has even a slight appreciation for Jazz is strongly advised to check this out.

- Gods of Music

"George Kahn Live in Carmel, CA"

Southern Comfort
LA pianist George Kahn brings inspired jazz to Carmel this Saturday.
Aug 11, 2005
By Andrew Gilbert

Well Composed: George Kahn has taken to assembling and leading talented jazz ensembles after a career creating music for TVs.

Los Angeles is often portrayed as a jazz wasteland, a huge, sprawling region where too many jazz musicians are looking for lucrative studio gigs rather than honing their sound. The truth is that LA boasts an impressive array of world class improvisers, but like so many other artists, they often languish in the shadow of Hollywood, which soaks up so much media attention.

Pianist George Kahn is a player who is making the most out of the Southern California scene. He cites pianists such as Dave Brubeck, Ramsey Lewis, Joe Sample, Vince Guaraldi and Wynton Kelly as role models, though his own sound also incorporates elements of New Orleans funk and Afro-Caribbean flavors. After a sold-out debut at the Jazz & Blues Company in February, Kahn returns to the Eastwood building on Saturday with his LA Session Band, featuring trumpeter John Fumo, saxophonist Andy Suzuki, bassist Karl Vincent, drummer M.B. Gordy and special guest Courtney Lemmon on vocals.

Since he started recording as a leader in 1999, Kahn has released a series of albums that feature many of the finest players in Southern California. On Out of Time, he collaborated with the late trap set genius Billy Higgins. Freedom Vessel showcases the remarkable interplay between bassist Dave Carpenter and drummer Joe LaBarbera, a supremely gifted drummer best known for his many recordings with pianist Bill Evans. On Midnight Brew, Kahn brought the powerful trumpeter Bobby Rodriguez into the mix, along with vocalist Tierney Sutton, who has done such impressive work for Telarc. His latest album, Compared To What?, came out last October, and it has garnered strong reviews. With Fumo and saxophonists Eric Marienthal and Justo Almario, bass master Brian Bromberg and drummer Alex Acuna, Kahn assembled an all-star cast, alongwith newcomer Lemmon, who makes her recording debut on the title track (made famous by Les McCann and Eddie Harris’s hit 1969 recording, Swiss Movement).

It’s a bracing advance by the gifted pianist, who has slowly but surely created a distinctive jazz identity separate from his thriving career as a composer for television. In the two decades he toiled in Southern California before he set out on his jazz journey, he contributed music to productions by BET, Hallmark Hall of Fame, Disney Animation, as well as various commercials. In addition to founding own label, Kahn has developed new avenues to distribute his music, regularly sending out MP3 files to fans who register on his Web site. Which isn’t to say he isn’t building an audience the old fashioned way.

Touring steadily over the past year, Kahn is quickly establishing himself as a regular presence on the Northern California scene, with repeat performances at San Francisco’s best jazz spot, Jazz at Pearl’s in North Beach, and the swanky Berkeley restaurant Downtown, which presents some of the region’s finest players. He’s forging relationships with veterans such as trumpeter Allen Smith, whose résumé includes stints with everyone from Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan to Nat Cole and Duke Ellington. With his combination of ambition and talent, Kahn is clearly no surf-addled slacker. He’s making the most out of Southern California, and he’s doing his best to draw attention to the gifted players he finds there.


© 2004 Milestone Communications Inc. All rights reserved. Terms of use
- Monterey County Weekly


December 2005 - In December, the George Kahn Jazz Quintet (including Justo Almario, Karl Vincent, Gabe Johnson, M.B. Gordy, and the Wrights), played holiday and old-time favorites to a packed crowd at the Catalina Bar & Grill. The evening overflowed with soulful style, rich bass tones and festive cheer, and had the added purpose of collecting blankets, socks, clothing and money to help homeless individuals at PATH to stay warm over the holidays. A big thank you goes out to George and friends for organizing and participating in such a worthwhile event!


Los Angeles. Last Saturday, July 12, at the
Temecula Valley International Jazz Festival, George Kahn had the honor of
This award, in its fourth year, is given by the Niles family in honor of
Chuck Niles, the voice of jazz in Los Angeles for over 50 years. The
award is handed out each year to the artist who best embodies the Niles
genre of music: big band, swing, be-bop, Latin and vocalists.
For the winning performance George performed with Karl Vincent on bass and Bebop
legend Dick Berk on drums. As the winner, George receives a day of recording at the Park Hill Music Gwen Gordy Studio, along with $500. and a commemorative plaque. It is an incredible honor to be recognized by this award, and George looks forward to many more years of carrying on the Jazz Torch, in honor of "Bebop Charlie".

George’s latest CD release (his sixth) “Cover Up!” entered the Jazz Week
Charts week last at 48 and climbed this week to 38 with a Bullet.
George Kahn's Cover Up! doesn't waste any time. The swing kicks in hard and fast --–‘ Cover Up! is a sterling musical statement from an unselfish and swinging pianist. Don't let it go unnoticed. Alfredo Cruz - KRTU Jazz for San Antonio
It’s guys like pianist George Kahn that make me glad I live on the West Coast, and can take in the local jazz scene. This latest release has Kahn leading a band that includes the stellar foundational trio with Alex Acuna (d & p) and Brian Bromberg (b), as well as guitarist Pat Kelly, tenorist extraordinaire Justo Almario (who would have statue in a park if he lived in NY) and trumpeter John Fumo…
Kahn seems most at home in the trio setting, which is where he seems to be most inspired. He takes Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love” and turns it from a rocker into a snapper. Keeping with the 60’s his version of “Eleanor Rigby” brings out the loneliness of the melody that would make McCartney smile. Keeping with the Fab Four, he takes an ingenious twist of “Yesterday” and segues it into the standard “Yesterdays” as if they were written for each other. Bromberg, on this tune and on “Waiting On The World” delivers some jaw dropping solo work. This is a trio that plays like they grew up together. He’s always somewhere in town; make it a point to see this overlooked star. - George Harris,
- All About Jazz .com

"Compared To What? Album Review"

By Jim Santella, L. A. Jazz Scene, December 2004

Justo Almario starts off the album with a lovely, tart interpretation of “On Green Dolphin Street” on tenor, as pianist George Kahn, double bassist Brian Bromberg, and drummer Alex Acuna add fiery improvisations to match. Kahn inspires his straight-ahead quintet and three guests, by providing a winning formula and then letting them run with it. The band’s freedom gives this session an igniting spark that never fades.

The title track, recalling the heyday of Eddie Harris and Les McCann, is sung by guest vocalist Courtney Lemmon. She’s supported by alto saxophonist Eric Marienthal and trumpeter John Fumo in a soulful re-creation of the timeless classic tune whose lyrics remain relevant today. “Compared To What” fulfills the theme of Kahn’s album,, as he explores all kinds of jazz territory. Soulful struttin’, tender ballads, straight-ahead excusions, and latin-jazz adventures combine into one program, as Kahn gives his audience a little bit of everything.. His program reflects the total sum of modern jazz and its many branches.

Cal Tjader’s “Soul Sauce” carries another blast from the past that features Almario on alto and Fumo on trumpet. Kahn’s piano takes the piece beyond its usual borders, by way of his son montuno impression that resolves into a highly energetic soliloquy. Exciting, and filled with the variety of a century of jazz, the pianist gives us a highly recommended album that compares favorably to a broad spectrum of our listening tastes.
- Jim Santella, L. A. Jazz Scene

"George Kahn Trio Live at Spazio"

George Kahn Trio featuring Courtney Lemmon@Spazios07.17.05
By George W. Harris

The classic piano trio never sounded better in the command of leader George Kahn at Spazios this warm summer night. With a precise, clear and crystalline attack, he lead his band through a brisk and articulate set of driving mainstream jazz.

Supported by the nimble Karl Vincent (bass) and effervescent MB Gordy (drums), Kahn opened with his original "See Cruise", displaying his spacious and dramatic touch over the driving rhythm. On the sensitive reading of the Beatles' "Blackbird", the trio made the case for turning this 60's hit into a jazz standard with it's delicate treatment of the melody and refrain. It's a pleasure to hear something besides showtunes being used as vehicles for improvisation.

Midway through the set, Kahn spotlighted vocalist Courtney Lemmon (from his excellent cd "Compared to What?") for a series of excellent readings of "Out of Time", "I'm Old Fashioned" and a particularly remorseful "Blues in the Night". With a sweet yet lonely voice, and a comfortably lazy feel on the beat, Ms. Lemmon shows much promise as she showed full command in front of the snapping rhythm.

Returning to the trio format with an adroitly resonant reading of "Stolen Moments", and closing with an extroverted and enthusiastic "Milestones", Kahn delivered well crafted, logical and coherent solos, with deft and sympathetic support throughout the enjoyable set. Don't let anyone fool you: this Kahn's an artist.
- All About Jazz

""...Compared To What?" Album Review"

This crisp, well-crafted, straightahead (mostly) set opens auspiciously, with tenor saxophonist Justo Almario wandering into the studio blowing solo, wailing, strolling around seemingly aimlessly; but you can feel there's a method to his melodic madness. About a minute later the bass throbs in behind him with repeated two note statements, followed by the drums, and finally the leader, George Kahn, appears, and the tune gels into the familiar “On Green Dolphin Street,” in a finely focused uptempo mode.

Kahn says playing a solo in front of this band—tenor and trumpet in front of a rhythm section, mostly—is like driving a well-tuned Ferrari, and that's a pretty apt comparison for this sound: clean, synchronized, and lightly lubricated for an effortless forward momentum provided by the drive train/rhythm section.

“Mercedes the Lady” introduces Latin sounds. Kahn is adept in an array of styles here. “Compared to What” proves itself a funkier, harder-driving version of the Les McCann/Eddie Harris hit from '68, featuring vocalist Courtney Lemmon, whose soulful take on the lyrics show them to be as relevant in these turbulent times as they were in the late sixties. “5 to Get Ready 10 to Go” has a Kind of Blue -ish feel, with some marvelous mute work by trumpeter John Fumo.

Saxophonist Eric Marienthal sits in on two tunes. His tone, sharp and stinging, always brings a modern edge to the sound. I've loved his playing ever since I first heard it in Chick Corea's Elektric Band's Inside Out (GRP, '90); and he doesn't disappoint here. He just cooks, with a clean, high heat on “Too Much Sax,” adding some fire to the title tune as well.

An excellent set, with different styles deftly mixed and held together by the stellar rhythm team behind a bunch of spirted blowing. The title tune alone is worth the price of admission, but then so are all the others. Kahn, piano; Alex Acuna, drums and percussion; and Brian Bromberg, bass: they've got to put out a trio set sometime.

Visit George Kahn at . - Dan McClenaghan,


Pianist George Kahn's enjoyable release alternates between straight-ahead features for Justo Almario (who is in great form on tenor during "On Green Dolphin Street") and trumpeter John Fumo, Latin romps and showcases for the leader's trio. The changes in moods and grooves keep the proceedings consistently interesting and colorful. Eric Marienthal has two guest appearances, helping out on "Compared to What" (a particularly funky version that features Courtney Lemmon's vocal) and his own "Too Much Sax." Bassist Brian Bromberg has a few very fluent solos along the way, Alejandro "Alex" Acuña's versatility uplifts the material, and Kahn's piano stars on "Alice in Wonderland" and his own "The Hero's Journey." Overall, this is an excellent outing well-worth exploring. - Scott Yanow, All MusicGuide


Out Of Time - featuring Billy Higgins
Counscious Dreams - piano and synth album
Freedom Vessel - featuring Eric Marienthal, Dave Carpenter, Joe Labarbera
Midnight Brew - featuring Eric Marienthal and Bobby Rodriguez
...Compared To What? - with Alex Acuna. Brian Bromberg, Eric Marienthal, Justo Almario, John Fumo and Courtney Lemmon
COVER UP! - with Alex Acuna. Brian Bromberg, Pat Kelley, Justo Almario, John Fumo and Courtney Lemmon



West Coast Jazz pianist George Kahn carries the tradition of jazz greats Dave Brubeck, Vince Guaraldi and Horace Silver into the 21st Century. His sixth release on the Playing Records label, “COVER UP!” features all-star band mates Brian Bromberg (fresh from a Grammy nomination) and Alex Acuna (of Weather Report fame) on a romp through cover tunes new and old, punctuated with Kahn’s originals. COVER UP! hit #38 on the JazzWeek Radio Charts summer of 2008, 4 weeks after release.

In addition to his jazz albums, available at , Kahn’s music has been featured on TV, including on The Young and the Restless, How William Shatner Changed the World and commercials for Lexus

Having majored in Music Composition at Brandeis University, George brings a classically trained sensibility to the jazz form. His WEST COAST JAZZ, unlike a lot of jazz, is not about how fast or complicated the music is -- it’s a forum where he can communicate feelings and emotions with his audience. George’s musical mission is to recapture the magic of jazz from the 50s and 60s, “before synthesizers and sequencers roamed the earth.”

In 1999, George formed Sudhana Music Publishing and his independent record label, Playing Records, as an avenue to share his music. He has released five self-produced CDs: Conscious Dreams (a jazz/new age configuration), Out of Time (a jazz recording featuring the late Billy Higgins on drums), Freedom Vessel (featuring Dave Carpenter on bass and Joe Labarbera on drums), and Midnight Brew (featuring Grammy-nominated trumpeter Bobby Rodriguez, Peak recording artist Eric Marienthal, and Telarc recording artist Tierney Sutton). His 5th album …Compared To What? was released in October 2004, and once again features Eric, as well as woodwind guru Justo Almario, drummer and percussionist Alex Acuña, bassist extraordinaire Brian Bromberg, and trumpet player John Fumo.
COVER UP! has received airplay on over 150 jazz radio stations across the country.
…Compared To What? was rated one of the TOP JAZZ ALBUMS of 2004 by WRTI-FM in Philadelphia, and All About

Inspired by the Internet to mass market and distribute his music through alternative channels, George has truly connected with the online music audience through his own website With the release of “…Compared To What?” in October 2004, the website now garners over 900 hits per day.

A firm believer in public school music programs, George has done fundraising for the Santa Monica Public Schools, and has taught the clinic, “The Art of Comping” at the IAJE convention in Long Beach CA. This clinic is now being offered at a high school and college level, with appearances scheduled with the Brubeck Institute and Linfield College.

Recent gigs in 2007 include performances at Los Angeles Jazz Meccas like The Jazz Bakery, and Catalina Bar and Grill. 2006 kicked off with a concert at The Triple Door in Seattle, WA. Summer of 2005 found George at KRML’s JAZZ AND BLUES CO., Jazz At Pearl's in San Francisco, the LEVITT PAVILION MUSIC FESTIVAL in Pasadena, CA among other locations. Past show include performances at the TASTE OF BRENTWOOD FESTIVAL in 2004, and the PLAYBOY JAZZ FESTIVAL as part of THE PASADENA SUMMERFEST in May 2002.

With the subtlety of Dave Brubeck and the positive drive of Vince Guaraldi, George Kahn’s piano music is an independent jazz pleasure. Join George and his band (Alex Acuña, Brian Bromberg, Justo Almario, and John Fumo) as they add to the evolution of Jazz with his 6th release, “Cover Up!” “There is a constant that runs through his music: It’s always hip.” – Alfredo Cruz, Jazz Broadcaster. Listen at: - buy it at