Tim Hagans Assertive Trumpeter is Muted, but Not Shy


Sign in to view read count
The trumpeter Tim Hagans makes an art and science out of assertiveness. Repeatedly during his first set at Birdland on Wednesday night he unfurled long arcs of eighth notes, clipping each one neatly at the end.

His businesslike facility on the instrument, along with the hard gleam of his tone, was impressive even when it wasnt quite absorbing.

A decade ago Mr. Hagans applied these skills toward a millennial upwelling of fusion, working intently with electronic textures and mechanized rhythms. His aims were ultramodern, and his execution on a pair of impetuous Blue Note albums, his last for that label earned some acclaim. But Mr. Hagans might have begun to feel that he was painting himself into a corner. He now works mainly in an acoustic postbop mode, seeking a similar air of progressivism, but with a subtler, less frenetic feel.

His current quintet could hardly be better suited to the task. It features a pair of advanced harmonic colorists, the guitarist John Abercrombie and the pianist Marc Copland, who share an affinity for softly luminescent chords. The bassist Drew Gress and the drummer Bill Stewart, who have worked often with Mr. Copland, round out the rhythm section. Mr. Hagans enlisted more or less the same crew for his two most recent albums, on the German label Pirouet: Alone Together (2008) and Beautiful Lily (2005).

Beautiful Lily, the title track of one of those albums, imbued the performance with its only dose of vulnerability. The songs shadowy melody would have been better served by an open horn, as on the album, than by a Harmon mute, which inexorably evoked Miles Davis. But Mr. Hagans played it with admirably solemn concentration before yielding the floor to Mr. Abercrombie, whose solo was a model of coherent flow, and Mr. Copland, who made a concise statement feel capacious and open-ended.

Continue Reading...

Visit Website


View events near New York City
Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and through our retail affiliations you'll support us in the process.


Rare vinyl LPs and CDs from over 1,000 independent sellers


CDs, Vinyl, Blu-Ray DVDS, Prime membership, Alexa, SONOS and more


Specializing in high resolution and CD-quality downloads


Specializing in music, movies and video games


Marketplace for new, used, and vintage instruments and gear

Jazz News