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After Hours

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Album Review

A Toronto resident who lived in Beirut, Lebanon as a child, Levon Ichkanian uses his Armenian heritage to his creative advantage on After Hours. This promising debut found the fusion-oriented guitarist (who gives the impression he was into Carlos Santana as well as John McLaughlin and Al DiMeola) employing heavyweights like Paquito D'Rivera (alto sax, clarinet) and John Patitucci (electric bass) and frequently combining a jazz-rock foundation with traces of Armenian and Middle Eastern music. While thoughtful originals like "Freeway Hotel," "The Gift" and "Monte Carlo" underscore Ichkanian's interest in Armenian pop, "Caterina" boasts a lovely, haunting melody that wouldn't be out of place on a Gato Barbieri album. Latin music is obviously another one of Ichkanian's passions, and he pleasantly surprises by making Luiz Bonfa's "Manha De Carnaval" more Afro-Cuban than Brazilian. The more one listens to this CD, the more one realizes how much there is to admire about Ichkanian.


Born: 16 May 1964

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Although his superb After Hours session of 1997 focused mainly on fusion, Levon Ichkhanian is a flexible player who is also knowledgeable of hard bop, classical, and Middle Eastern music. Originally from Beirut, Lebanon, Ichkhanian is of Armenian descent and is the son of jazz pianist Edouard Ichkhanian, who became musical director for Armenian singer Adiss in 1974 and did a great deal to popularize modern jazz-influenced Armenian pop. Ichkhanian, who was 12 when the family moved from Lebanon to...
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After Hours, Levon Ichkhanian
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