Before ALL else, many thanks to Kim Giles & Rick Scott for the introduction to the amazing Reza Khan. Reza and yours truly communicated several days ago - he asked if I had heard any of his previous projects. I had not. Since that time, I've made it a point to hear the first four albums. And you can not only hear but FEEL the evolving excitement that Reza allowed himself to create.
This journey was a long time coming. Imagine a little boy in Bangladesh, inspired by his Dad, a poet. The tabla, sitar and sarod surrounding him. Classical Indian and Bengali music - Reza's childhood blueprint. One day, his brother brought home "Frampton Comes Alive." And life changed :) As time grooved on, that ingrained percussion morphed with Western Rock and Jazz Fusion. You can hear the door open when you listen to "Painted Diaries." (2008). "A Simple Plan", "The Dreamwalker", and "Wind Dance" gave us more of the adventure that began when that door opened.
With "Next Train Home", Reza has embraced ALL of what he has encountered/absorbed/learned to transcribe. His "day" job at the United Nations is a pivotal factor for creating the magic. His travels to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East opened his eyes in multiple ways. To poverty - which is why he became involved in his peacekeeping work. But also to the enchanting musical cultures of countries that he could have only DREAMED of visiting - so many years ago.
The Summer of 2017 was specifically the reason why this new project was born. Several African countries in six weeks - and from what we understand - Reza became ill. He had to be confined physically but emotionally he was SOARING. The culmination of ALL his musical joy is here. He's contagious - wait until you HEAR!