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George Kahn | ...Compared To What?

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Jazz: West Coast Jazz Jazz: Cool Jazz Moods: Featuring Piano
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...Compared To What?

by George Kahn

Voted one of the best Jazz albums in 2005 by radio stations in Philadelphia and LA! - George on Piano, Justo Almario and Eric Marienthal on sax, Alex Acuna on drums, Brian Bromberg on bass, and others. MUSIC is "always hip",
Genre: Jazz: West Coast Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. On Green Dolphin Street
8:26 $0.99
2. Mercedes the Lady
4:58 $0.99
3. Compared to What
5:28 $0.99
4. 5 to Get Ready, 10 to Go
7:08 $0.99
5. Too Much Sax
6:45 $0.99
6. Woodstock
6:07 $0.99
7. Soul Sauce
5:17 $0.99
8. Gnome Sayin'
6:01 $0.99
9. Alice in Wonderland
7:17 $0.99
10. The Hero's Journey (for Josh Fiedel)
5:48 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
LA pianist George Kahn ... Los Angeles is often portrayed as a jazz wasteland, a huge, sprawling region where too many jazz musicians...
By Andrew Gilbert

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.
Combinación Perfecta."



to write a review

Jim Santella

"Highly Recommended", Exciting, and filled with the variety of a century of jazz
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.
"Compared To What" fulfills the theme of Kahn's album, as he explores all kinds of jazz territory. Soulful struttin', tender ballads, straight-ahead excursions, 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.
Exciting, and filled with a century of jazz, the pianist gives us a highly recommended album that compares favorably to a broad spectrum of our listening tastes.

Scott Yanow

An excellent outing well-worth exploring
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.

George Carroll

George, you certainly exceeded my expectations.
First, let's pay kudos to Kahn's choice of the recording studio where he brought his CD project to fruition. The sound that emits from the disc is a study in sound dynamics........Might I say: Beautifully engineered!! The 'mainstream' aspect of the project is maintained through the group's combined sense of musical, yet artistic wit......This, all balanced by Kahn's harmonic perception & polyphonic jazz logic. The group handles the complexity of their internal accompaniment with copious tonal color, & an imperative indicative of how much they enjoy playing together. This CD will give you a better take on such jazz oriented notions as: thematic improvising, aggressive rhythmic articulation, harmonically complex keyboard style, & a solid, strong interplay between consummately trained journeymen jazz musicians. George, you certainly exceeded my expectations.

George Harris - All About Jazz LA

…Compared to What? has few comparisons. It’s a truly original work.
Any leader who opens his CD with a long, legato tenor sax intro, as George Kahn lets Justo Almario do on an obliquely sublime “On Green Dolphin Street,” is more interested in creating a great recording, not showing off his own feathers.
Each song on …Compared to What? is chock full of delicious and delightful concepts, all coalescing into a lovely montage of sounds. The Latin-tinged “Mercedes the Lady” and march-stepped “5 to Get Ready 10 to Go” feature spacious and brisk trumpet work by John Fumo that is filled with colorful dynamics and directions. Eric Marienthal chips in for some funky reed work on the soul strutting “Too Much Sax” and moderned-up version of the title tune.
Throughout …Compared to What?, Kahn is in the background, supplying sensitive solos when required, as on the evocative “Alice in Wonderland,” or pushing the rhythm section to it’s funky limits, as on the title track. Alex Acuña on drums and percussion provides his usual graceful drive. Bassist Brian Bromberg is impeccable as always, and his interplay with Kahn on an epiphanic reading of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” will erase any images of whining hippies.
…Compared to What? has few comparisons. It’s a truly original work.
Look for it and enjoy.


great new disc
Got it yesterday shipped to Germany, thank for that music. Its always lot of fun and specially the interpretaion of Joni Mitchells Woodstock is a fine one !

Cheers, Oliver


A music composition major at Brandeis University, Southern California-based pianist GEORGE KAHN brings a classically trained sensibility to his jazz writing. On his latest CD, ...Compared To What? (Playing Records), he also brings a talented supporting cast in woodwind players Eric Marienthal and Justo Almario, trumpeter John Fumo, bassist Brian Bromberg, and drummer/percussionist Alex Acuna. Kahn’s arranging skills stand out on the cover of Gene McDaniel’s under-the-radar title composition, as well as Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” and standards like “On Green Dolphin Street.” But the featured original “Gnome Sayin’” holds its own among such classics, thanks to the melodic accompaniment and soloing of Kahn with his all-star ensemble.

Carmine D'Amico

George is too coooool
George,Love ya.It's Carmine D'Amico,studio jazz rock guitarist,holder of 16 Grammy Awards here.You sound Great George.Love Eric as well.Pay me a visit.Carmine D'Amico


Cool, and it swings
What a great disc! I'm not a musician, but I love almost all kinds of music....but I don't care for much "smooth jazz". George's sound should appeal to everyone who likes anything within the entire spectrum of jazz. It's not so far out there as to put off those who typically listen to "smooth jazz", but not so formulaic as to disappoint the hard-core jazz fan.

Beverly Praiswater

Gourmet Jazz
Gourmet Jazz, January 16, 2005
Jazz magazine critics, spare me the comparisons to other jazz greats. George Kahn's music has a unique style. It's complete.

The cuts on this studio album feel almost like they were recorded in a live club. The musicians each flow with the other's talent. Throughout the various cuts each musician comes to the forefront in a relaxed, subtle style. These cuts average between 5 to 7 minutes. As each takes his time, so the artistry unfolds into a sweet sound.

George Kahn has real soul for music. The accompanying musicians, Alex Acuna, Justo Almario, Brian Bromberg, John Fumo, and Eric Marienthal bring that soul to life.