FEAT. HERMETO PASCOAL
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For his third album for Far Out Recordings, London based multi-instrumentalist and one of Europe’s finest saxophonists Sean Khan ventures to Rio de Janeiro to collaborate with iconic Brazilian polymath Hermeto Pascoal. Taking its title from the escaped slave settlement ‘Palmares’ in the Northeast of Brazil during the 1600s, Palmares Fantasy is Khan’s utopian jazz message for the world, and features Azymuth drummer Ivan ‘Mamao’ Conti, bassist Paulo Russo, guitarist Jim Mullen, and guest vocals from Brazilian chanteuse Sabrina Malheiros, and Cinematic Orchestra frontwoman Heidi Vogel.
Like Hermeto Pascoal, Sean Khan is a self-taught musician. Never able to afford his original dream of studying at Berklee, and having been turned away from Guildhall School of Music for being ‘too raw’, he became disillusioned with what he saw as the exclusivity, elitism and dangerous institutionalisation of the jazz world. Yet Sean’s love for music and the drive to create never faltered.Hermeto Pascoal, the man Miles Davis once dubbed “the most impressive musician in the world”, is a similarly independent artist. A true maverick whose ingenuity and freedom from conventional restraints is so great that he has essentially conceived his own musical language, made him the dream collaboration for Sean.
Aspiring to inclusivity and equality also informs the message in Khan’s music. Inspired by the 17th Century settlement of Palmares in Brazil’s Alagoas region, which was free from the Portuguese crown’s murderous exploitation of South America for a century, Khan notes his fascination with the fact that while majoritively made up of escaped African slaves, many deserter conquistadors also joined the settlement.
Hearing the deep-grooving title track with this history in mind, the listener is transported to a futuristic musical eden, with Mamao’s insatiable 10/8 rhythm back-boning Hermeto’s wild improvised vocals, rhodes and whistles, while Sean’s harmonically brilliant sax and flute add more layers of moody, characterful expression. ‘Moment of Collapse’ is Sean’s poetic study on the uncertainties of modern day western civilisation, delicately presented by the gorgeous vocals of Heidi Vogel and drenched in lugubrious strings and Alice Coltrane-esque harp. The two covers on the album are of Hermeto’s own ‘Montreux’ (on which Hermeto plays solos on a teapot and a pint of water), and an uplifting soulful jazz-funk take on Milton Nascimento & Lo Borges MPB classic ‘Tudo Que Voce Podia Ser’ featuring the vocals of pioneering nu-bossa voice Sabrina Malheiros.
LIVE @ THE JAZZ CAFE
SATURDAY 20 AUGUST
"At The Jazz Cafe on 20th August I will be playing music that I especially wrote for the great maestro Hermeto Pascoal. This music and Hermeto himself will be appearing on my new record which was recorded in Rio de Janeiro in May and is currently in post-production. Singing in my band is the great Heidi Vogel. For anyone who doesn't know of the massively talented Heidi, I would say she is the greatest jazz/ soul singer in Europe at the moment. Sam Leak, Laurie Lowe and Dario Di Lecce make up the remainder of the group- all major talents in their own right. Also on the night Ben Hauke will be working rhythmic wonders from his MPC, we'll have all vinyl DJ sets by Marc Mac from the legendary 4hero and the infamous Joe Davis of the seminal Far Out Recordings, who are the evening's hosts." - Sean
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“A proper treat. 4/5 stars” - Evening Standard
“Muriel is a smooth, grooving, soulful wonder. 4/5 Stars” - Jazzwise
“Sean’s blissful and gifted alto sax playing demonstrates a rare technical prowess, an understanding of Jazz’s history and a raging determination to carve out it’s future. 4/5 stars” - Blues and Soul Magazine
“Muriel is probably his best album to date” - Echoes (Lawrence Prangell)
'SAMBA PARA FLORENCE'
12" REMIXES BY HENRY WU & BEN HAUKE
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“Love it” - Lefto
“Both remixes are dope!” - Kai Alce
“Sean Khan - Samba Para Florence (Henry Wu Remix) is the best record I heard this year! Thank you!” - Rustam Ospanoff (NE.FM)
“Really like things to say” - Osunlade
“Love Henry Wu’s mix!” - Eddy Ramich
“Thank you for these tunes... they are heavy! Especially Ben's rmx” - Marshmello (NTS)
SEAN KHAN feat. OMAR
'DON'T LET THE SUN GO DOWN'
12" REMIXES BY 4HERO & NICOLA CONTE
12" OUT NOW ON FAR OUT RECORDINGS
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In anticipation of Sean Khan’s second album on Far Out Recordings: 'Muriel', this four track 12” release features remixes from 4Hero and Nicola Conte of ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down’, one of the album’s standout tracks.
The original track, featuring father of British ne-soul Omar, is an uplifting and sophisticated piece of premium dance-floor jazz, and these reworks do it ample justice. Dego and Marc Mac, aka 4hero, two pioneers of broken beat, jungle and UK dance music as a whole, recreate the track as a delicately crafted downtempo number, taming the original somewhat with an eye on the club, while retaining its fluidity and groove. Sparsely and subtly layered on top of this are the instantly recognizable thick and soulful vocals of Omar, resulting in a rich blend of beguiling and unconventional harmonies. To top it all off, Sean Khan's exquisite alto sax solo demonstrates both his technical prowess and keen understanding of jazz's history as well as his commitment to carve out a future for the genre.
The B-side hosts Nicola Conte's remix of 'Things to Say'. Renowned for his sizable contribution to the lineage of acid jazz and fusion, as a producer, Dj and musician, Conte offers up a deeper, darker take on Khan's signature sound. The beauty of Conte’s version lies in its contrasts: a bouncy 4/4 house beat skips along buoyantly beneath the contemplative whirr of the Rhodes, while the eerily spectral soul of Diana Martinez’s vocals and samples of Khan’s emotive sax take the track taken to a more introspective corner of the club.