Monday, October 31, 2011

FEELING FREE

Trumpeter Tim Hagans
Tim, I owe you and Ann Braithwaite, the publicist for Palmetto Records a big apology. Ann sent me an advance copy of your new album “The Moon is Waiting” two weeks before Palmetto released it nationwide October 11th. I gave Ann my word I’d post a review. I was smitten with the album right away, but I never got around to reviewing it. 

In October, I get flooded with new releases and I normally get behind. Last week, Ann shot me an email asking if I still planned to review “The Moon is Waiting”, pointing out the album is a killer and she loves it. I rarely get follow up emails from publicists.

Over the weekend, I replayed “The Moon is Waiting”. It’s the kind of album you’d get if the Miles Davis of the 70’s had joined forces with Ornette Coleman.

Honestly, I have to be in a certain mood to digest most free jazz and smooth jazz music. At heart, I’m a red-blooded jazz purist. “The Moon is Waiting” is a free jazz album I could listen to daily.

I’m listening to the album right now. You just finished a beautiful muted trumpet cadenza on the title cut, and now you and guitar player Vic Juris are doing some far-out rock-n-roll-ish playing on “Get Outside”.

The ballad “What I’ll Tell Her Tonight” shows you’re not all fire.  You have a warm and fuzzy side. Tim, the only thing on the album I couldn’t make sense of was the title. What does the “The Moon is Waiting” mean?

The eight compositions you wrote for “The Moon is Waiting” are intricate and require musicians of extraordinary chops to execute. That’s what drummer and piano player Jurkkis Uotila and your longtime collaborator bass player Rufus Reid bring to the table.

 It's neat how you gave Reid the floor on the closer “These Happen in a Convertible”. I’m familiar with Reid’s chops, but I didn’t know he had a flair for free jazz.

Tim, “The Moon is Waiting” comes off as if you spent months doing nothing else but perfecting each song.

Your blowing is breathtaking throughout, and although you’re a veteran trumpeter, I could still detect your musical influences Herb Alpert, Miles Davis, Woody Shaw and Freddie Hubbard. 

I'm going to shoot Ann Braithwaite an email to say thanks for turning me on to "The Moon is Waiting", and for staying on my case until I gave it the attention it deserves.


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