298

Tim Hagans: The Avatar Sessions: The Music of Tim Hagans

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Tim Hagans: The Avatar Sessions: The Music of Tim Hagans Over the past three-and-a-half decades, trumpeter Tim Hagans has worked with the most accomplished big bands in the world. Time spent with Stan Kenton, Thad Jones, Maria Schneider and Bob Mintzer has often placed him at the epicenter of large group creativity. These associations, along with many others, have helped him flesh out his own unique compositional style. The Avatar Session is a showcase for this writing, which encompasses everything from lush, hazy ballads and bebop tributes to funky, riff based anthems of post-modern design.

The Norbotten Big Band—with whom Hagans has collaborated since 1996— brilliantly brings his creations to life. When this group tours Europe they often invite guests along for the ride and Hagans often writes music specifically for the honored artist. In bringing trumpeter Randy Brecker, drummer Peter Erskine, saxophonist George Garzone, saxophonist Dave Liebman and bassist Rufus Reid into the mix here, Hagans augments an already impressive group, allowing the music to take shape around the artists who inspired these works.

While the character of the music and the featured soloists change from track to track, Erskine's drumming is a key factor on many of the performances. On "Buckeyes," he manages to fill the gaps between the angular/broken riffs and provide some supportive swing, while still retaining some creative energy for soloing. Garzone and Hagans are featured prominently here and the wild, overlapping exchanges between all three men brings some organized chaos into the mix.

Hagans and Brecker heat things up on "Boo," as they team up or trade short little licks and solo bursts which are separated by a boogaloo/funk riff from the band. "Box of Cannoli" is full of different musical moods, including muted brass coloring, a focus on the piano trio—with some fine work from pianist Daniel Tilling—and some aggressive drum soloing. Hagans' harmonies seem to hang in the air on "Here With Me"—an expressive tune featuring Liebman on soprano saxophone.

"Palt Seanuts," a bop-inspired feast with trumpet and saxophone leading the charge, decompresses with some deep chords and angular bass licks before the parade of solos takes off. Erskine's solo comes last, and he appropriately ends his spot with a quote from Dizzy Gillespie's "Salt Peanuts." "Rufus at Gilly's" gives Reid a platform to demonstrate his technique and creativity. Some searching bass work creates a spooky atmosphere, and Reid's use of ringing harmonics, richly bent notes and sliding sounds make the music all the more intriguing.

With The Avatar Sessions, Hagans manages to synthesize his lifelong big band experiences to create something new, showcasing the A-list jazz guests on an album that also highlight the impressive talents of the Norbotten Big Band.


Track Listing: Buckeyes; Boo; Box of Cannoli; Here With Me; Palt Seanuts; Rufus At Gilly's; Song For Mirka.

Personnel: Tim Hagans: solo trumpet, conductor; George Garzone: tenor saxophone (1); Randy Brecker: trumpet (2); Dave Liebman: soprano saxophone (4); Håkon Broström: saxophones and woodwinds; Jan Thelin: saxophones and woodwinds; Mats Garberg: saxophones and woodwinds; Karl-Martin Almqvist: saxophones and woodwinds; Per Moberg: saxophones and woodwinds; Bo Strandberg: trumpet; Magnus Ekholm: trumpet; Dan Johansson: trumpet; Tapio Maunuvaara: trumpet; Peter Dahlgren: trombone; Magnus Puls: trombone; Ola Nordqvist: trombone; Björn Hängsel: trombone; Daniel Tilling: piano, Fender Rhodes (2); Vic Juris: guitar (2); Rufus Reid: bass; Peter Erskine: drums, tambourine (2, 6).

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Fuzzy Music | Style: Big Band


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Vol. 02" CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 02
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Zanshin" CD/LP/Track Review Zanshin
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 3, 2016
Read "Three Octaves Above The Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Three Octaves Above The Sun
by James Nadal
Published: August 1, 2016
Read "Need to Bring Out Love" CD/LP/Track Review Need to Bring Out Love
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 5, 2016
Read "The Music Of Jackie McLean" CD/LP/Track Review The Music Of Jackie McLean
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 6, 2016
Read "Spring Feelings" CD/LP/Track Review Spring Feelings
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!