Hugh Ragin's title track reminds us that music communicates expression. His passion shines through warmly. By adopting the classic jazz quintet format for his third Justin Time release, the trumpeter has retained a mainstream sensibility. However, his adventurous nature remains evident from start to finish. Standards and originals swing, while introducing flights of fancy throughout. The ensemble interprets with clarity and a natural ease. Their session combines avant-garde thrills with picturesque impressionism, sullen blues and joyful swing. Ragin's trumpet attains a wide range of emotions through his buoyant, conversational style. He and Assif Tsahar make a fruitful front line. Their rhythmic drive on "Freedom Jazz Dance," "Gulf Coast Groove" and "Caravan" moves boldly. It's powerful stuff that moves the soul. The session's final number, a solo trumpet piece, recalls the late Lester Bowie. Ragin, who has music degrees from the University of Houston and Colorado State University, who has taught at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and who's earned much of his experience performing with David Murray, favors an adventurous, modern mainstream program. This one comes recommended for its ease of understanding and its enjoyable attitude.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.