Critics often talk about “interesting” projects, and I certainly have heard my share. The term is sometimes loosely tossed around. However, here with this latest release from Reza Khan, entitled Painted Diaries, the term could not be more appropriate, as the product involves so much in terms of diversity. The “problem” might be that it could be seen by some as too much. While there are definite smooth jazz elements here, this project is probably as much (if not more of) a soft rock project, even a hint of a country rock project. There is also some world flavor tossed in for good measure.
For sure, the vast majority of these tunes are well-done and quite melodic; so, you may not care how to categorize the CD. On the other hand, for those who are not necessarily into rock or some unique variation or hybrid of it or any of the other genres touched on here, you might have a dilemma. You just might have a problem blowing off some of the catchier melodies and hooks just because they don’t “fit” in your library.
Admittedly, while the CD has some fine melodies and hooks, I’m not so crazy about some of the instrument choices. There are spots where sax could have reached me far better than a guitar. By the way, Andy Snitzer is one of two saxophonists who sit in on this project.
So, what’s the bottom line? Well, after you listen to “Dawning,” a dreamy type of precursor coming in at track one, and you’re confronted with the lengthy rockin’ “Day Break” and the equally alive soft rocker “Catalina’s Dream,” the island-flavored mellow “Bahia Mama,” with the tender vocals of one Jennifer Grimm (who also treats us to her charms on “Coast to Coast” and “Tomorrow?”), you’re faced with a simple decision: Let this atypical potpourri of sound come in and find a comfy place in your collection, or pass it by. I personally chose the former option. For me, the plusses are worth it.
As I said at the outset, this CD (available via Amazon and CDbaby) is truly one of the more “interesting” pieces of work I’ve heard lately. Listen closely. Depending upon your level of receptivity, you may or may not be up for the somewhat unique but colorful ride it offers, but you’ll find that the tunes are quite worthy of your undivided attention nonetheless.