Tim Shaghoian: Gentle Beacons

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Tim Shaghoian: Gentle Beacons
Considering music with origins in California's San Joaquin Valley, the names most likely to come to mind are Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, an American music that adopted the name the "Bakersfield Sound." But up the road apiece in Fresno—about a hundred miles north of Bakersfield on Highway 99—a different style of American music, jazz, is sprouting, at the hands of saxophonist and Fresno native Tim Shaghoian.

Gentle Beacons is Shaghoian's debut, a well-crafted work of modern jazz featuring the saxophonist fronting an exceptional quintet on nine of his original compositions, with the Great American Songbook jewel, "My Foolish Heart" set in the center of the proceedings. A malleable melodic treatment is given to this centerpiece, with a near chamber-jazz rendering and a sound which floats outside of time.

The disc opens with "Old Haven In The Waves," with a beautifully austere arrangement sculpting a pensive mood. "Hearts Aligned" begins with a fluid, unaccompanied, minute-and-a-half sax solo which gives way to a gentle bursting to life of the band, then a piquant guitar turn from Chris Janzen, gliding along on the bed of pianist Kevin Person Jr.'s foundation.

Gentle Beacons has a cohesive focus through the ten tunes, with a sound not unlike that found on ECM Records sets by the likes of saxophonist Trygve SeimHelsinki Songs (2018)—and the Tord Gustavsen Quartet on The Well (2012). Not a bad way to begin a recording career.

Track Listing

Old Haven in the Waves; Hearts Aligned; Neukölln; Flying Hat; My Foolish Heart; Monument; Unrest; Picture of a Dream; Friendship in the End (For Julia); Writing Desk.


Tim Shaghoian: saxophone; Chris Janzen: guitar, electric; Kevin Person Jr.: piano; Richard Lloyd Giddens Jr.: bass; Antonio Montanez: drums.

Album information

Title: Gentle Beacons | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: OA2 Records

Post a comment about this album



Shop Amazon


Read An Open Dialogue
An Open Dialogue
Linda Sikhakhane
Read Rah! Rah!
Rah! Rah!
The Claire Daly Band
Read Artlessly Falling
Artlessly Falling
Mary Halvorson's Code Girl
Read Hi-Fly
Howard University Jazz Ensemble
Read And Then It Rained
And Then It Rained
The Michael O'Neill Quartet
Read You're It!
You're It!
The Mike Melito / Dino Losito Quartet
Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.