Reviews that mention Hugh Ragin

June 11, 2018

Roscoe Mitchell

Bells for the South Side
ECM 2494/2495

Roscoe Mitchell/Montreal-Toronto Art Orchestra

Ride the Wind

Nessa ncd-40

Roscoe Mitchell-Matthew Shipp

Accelerated Projection

RogueArt Rog 0079

Daniel Carter/William Parker/Matthew Shipp

Seraphic Light

AUM Fidelity AUM 106

Something In The Air: The Continued Relevance of Composer/Performer Roscoe Mitchell

By Ken Waxman

More than a half-century after his recording debut, multi-reedist Roscoe Mitchell shows no sign of slowing down as a player or composer. One of the founders of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (ACCM) and the Art Ensemble of Chicago (AEC), Mitchell, who also teaches, keeps the AEC going alongside experiments with ensembles ranging from duos to big bands. Many of the bigger configurations are pliable however, so what at first appear to be a large ensemble turns out to be several subsets of musicians who more faithfully portray some of Mitchell’s thornier compositions. MORE

May 7, 2015

Encore

Hugh Ragin
By Ken Waxman

For trumpeter Hugh Ragin, 64, the touchstones of his long career have been performing, teaching and pivoting. Considering that as part of what he describes as his “360 degree musicianship”, over the years the trumpeter has been a member of bands led by the likes of Roscoe Mitchell and Maynard Ferguson; that Ragin has taught at locations ranging from Colorado secondary schools, Ohio’s Oberlin and the University of California San Diego jazz camp, the first two are obvious. Swiftly moving or “pivoting” from one part of the country to the other and from one genre to the other though, is how he has kept his career lively during those years. And he’s done this all while remaining based in Aurora, Colorado, a Denver suburb, where he moved in the mid-‘70s.while studying for his masters in trumpet performance MORE

January 5, 2004

HUGH RAGIN

Sound Pictures For Solo Trumpet
Hopscotch HOP 13

URA
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Creative Sources CS 006 CD

We’ve come a long way from the days of Louis Armstrong or Miles Davis, any fan of improvised trumpet music will think, after hearing these two sessions that end up on the farthest fringes of brassdom.

But appearances -- and sounds -- can be deceiving. Despite their similar positions away from the mainstream, the musicians on the CDs are coming from different places, and not just geographically.

Houston-born, Colorado-based Hugh Ragin, is a consummate trumpet technician, who has a Masters degree in classical trumpet performance. Besides teaching, he has also collaborated with musicians including reedists David Murray, Anthony Braxton and Roscoe Mitchell and recorded CDs ranging from bebop to out-and-out avant-garde. The 15 -- not 16 as the cover sleeve notes -- performances here showcase a variety of strategies for solo trumpet from short, rhythmic exercises to what could be called humanistic overdubbing. MORE

March 1, 2002

ASSIF TSAHAR/HAMID DRAKE

Soul Bodies, Vol. 1
Ayler aylCD-0024

ASSIF TSAHAR/HAMID DRAKE/PETER KOWALD/HUGH RAGIN
Open Systems
Marge 28

Stripped down to music’s internal skeleton, real-time improvisation is so basic that it can often be as chancy as trying to reconstruct a human being from his bone structure alone. But when it does work, the results are as spectacular as the accomplishments of anthropologists who use the properties of a few bone shards to discover nearly everything about a vanished personage.

Master drummer Hamid Drake and reedman Assif Tsahar pull out their symbolic pick axes and labor in the improv trenches at 2001’s Vision Festival in New York on SOUL BODIES. During the course of three long pieces they firmly and distinctively bring into being living, breathing bodies of outstanding improvisations. If they miscalculate in any way, it’s in not spending enough time solidifying the souls to enlighten these improv creatures. MORE

March 1, 2001

ASSIF TSAHAR/HAMID DRAKE

Soul Bodies, Vol. 1
Ayler aylCD-0024

ASSIF TSAHAR/HAMID DRAKE/PETER KOWALD/HUGH RAGIN
Open Systems
Marge 28

Stripped down to music’s internal skeleton, real-time improvisation is so basic that it can often be as chancy as trying to reconstruct a human being from his bone structure alone. But when it does work, the results are as spectacular as the accomplishments of anthropologists who use the properties of a few bone shards to discover nearly everything about a vanished personage.

Master drummer Hamid Drake and reedman Assif Tsahar pull out their symbolic pick axes and labor in the improv trenches at 2001’s Vision Festival in New York on SOUL BODIES. During the course of three long pieces they firmly and distinctively bring into being living, breathing bodies of outstanding improvisations. If they miscalculate in any way, it’s in not spending enough time solidifying the souls to enlighten these improv creatures. MORE