The album artwork offers insight into the sound and scope of trumpeter extraordinaire Tim Hagans' 2011 jazz-fusion release. The program is brushed with dark hues and spacey architectures, translating into an impressionistic journey towards the nearest galaxy. But there's plenty of oxygen and life here.
Hagans is on fire with a first-rate band, tendering sympathetic support and obviously aligned with this rather special game-plan. The trumpeter is a veritable jazz renaissance man, who is adept and comfortable within modern mainstream big band ensembles, semi-free excursions or navigating through the intimacies of smaller ensembles. Past experiences with outside jazz fusion activities come to fruition on this 2011 outing, often leading to dazzling results, and intensely climactic improvisational segments with guitar legend Vic Juris.
Hagans and Juris project a dimly lit environment with ominous undertones; thus, enhancing the imagery of newly discovered vistas, whether they swing hard, or engage in bristling exchanges. During various movements, the band rolls forth with an impetus that would suck the blood out of any living organism in its path. With Reid's resounding lines on "Boo," the quartet launches a funky-blues, partly reminiscent of 70s era Miles David. Here, Juris's bending and twisting e-guitar phrasings cast an eerie spell, as Hagans' persona takes on the aura of an exalted presence via harrowing notes and moody phrasings. And on the album closer "Things Happen In A Convertible," the soloists ride above Finnish drummer Jukkis Uotila's asymmetrical drum groove and segue into a blustery ballad that evolves into linear progressions and a 4/4 backbeat. It's all consummated by Hagans' bold and glittering lyricism.
This session is largely engineered upon electrifying twists, turns, detours and treks through narrow passageways. An air of excitement envelops these propulsive works. But where other artists fall, Hagans rockets to a zenith, thanks to memorable compositions and shrewd arrangements akin to oscillating impulses affecting one's neural systems.