The element of the unknown is inherent when artists come together to collaborate. World jazz guitarist Reza Khan is intrigued by that mystery, seeing magic in the creative process and finding the results to be mystical. Putting his eager curiosity and desire to experiment into practice, he invited a handful of Grammy-recognized musicians and Billboard hitmakers to join him and producer, songwriter and horn player David Mann on a collaborative recording adventure. The resultant collection, “Mystical,” will arrive on March 8.
Khan has a lengthy history of collaborating with Mann, who as a saxophonist, flutist and woodwinds player has worked with superstars – from Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga to Sting, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Madonna, Billy Joel, The Eagles and Tower of Power along with seminal jazzers Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, Michael Franks, Dave Koz and The Rippingtons. Mann was Khan’s first call to cowrite and produce the album when he conceived the project. On Khan’s six albums, he had never before turned the producer’s duties completely over to anyone, but he trusted Mann to helm “Mystical” after having had a really positive experience on his previous outing, 2021’s “Imaginary Road.”
“David Mann and I have a great musical chemistry and share a vision of creating music that is innovative and eclectic. David played saxophone, flute, keyboards, and percussion on some of the tracks, adding his signature touch of groove and melody to the songs,” said Khan, who will celebrate the album release with a concert date at New York City’s Blue Note Jazz Club on March 23.
With Mann aboard, Khan decided to do something else he never did before: begin composing music for the album with specific featured artists in mind – even before asking if they would be willing to guest on the album. Khan’s leap of faith paid off when every single one of them – two-time Grammy winner Bob James, Grammy winner Lorber, three-time Grammy winner Jimmy Haslip, Grammy nominees Keiko Matsui and Philippe Saisse, and Billboard chart-topper Nils Jiptner – eagerly accepted the invitation to collaborate with the guitarist on “Mystical” based on the lofty standards of musicianship, songwriting and production exhibited on Khan’s well-crafted contemporary jazz, fusion, world music and new age albums.
“‘Mystical’ is a collection of ten original songs that display musical versatility and creativity. The album is also the result of my collaboration with some of the most talented and renowned musicians in the jazz and world music scene. Each of these musicians has contributed their own style and flair to the songs, creating a musical synergy that is both captivating and inspiring,” said the Bangladesh-born, New York City-based Khan about the album made up of seven new songs and three reimagined tunes culled from his catalogue.