Tim Hagans / Bob Belden: Re-Animation LIVE! (2002)
Trumpeter Tim Hagans musical excellence is beyond dispute. He has played and recorded with Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Dexter Gordon, Joe Lovano, and Maria Schneider. His Blue note albums include Hubsongs (1997), a burning bop tribute to Freddie Hubbard, and Audible Architecture (1994), a mostly trumpet/bass/drums inventive affair. His passion for the music of his youth, rock, is evident in this disc and the studio released Animation.Imagination (1999). Hagans and producer/saxophonist take the mostly studio created music to a live setting, the 1999 Montreal Jazz Festival. What tends to come off with ease in the studio often makes for tricky and troubling live performances. Many wonder why they should attend a rapper’s concert when all the music is canned and the performers merely acting upon cues?
With that dilemma in mind, the quintet plus DJ Kingsize set out to prove the common wisdom wrong and for the most part they do. The title track resurrects not Miles but Weather Report, with a Zawinul synth matched with a jungle beat. They get to Miles on “Hud Doyle” with it’s skittering Miles Tutu-horn and Belden pacing the affair ala Dave Liebman. Hagan who maintains his love of Grand Funk and Led Zeppelin brings the funk and the rock. The world of DJ’s and programmed drums tends to wear thin in spots. I wondered where killer drummer Billy Kilson was. Although featured prominently on several tracks, his remarkable talents seemed cloaked by all the technology.
An enjoyable record that I suggest you play loud.
Track Listing: Animation/Imagination; Big Moment; Hud Doyle; Killer Instinct; 28 If; Dans la Ville Sombre; Are You Threatening Me?; Love.
Personnel: Tim Hagans: trumpet; Bob Belden" soprano saxophone; Scott Kinsey" synthesizers; David Dyson: electric bass; Billy Kilson: drums; DJ Kingsize: turntables.
Record Label: Blue Note Records
Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock