Just back from vacation in Portland, Oregon, where our godson, Noah Kite, graduated college. (Noah and Corey Distler cofounded the group zinnie for short. Check their music out, and
expect earworms.) For those of you in New Mexico, I can assure you that rain still exists, as do daytime temperatures in the 60s and 70s. The Pacific Ocean put on a splendid son et lumière for us, too. Thanks to the Kites for a memorable visit.
Now, back to the listening couch. Here’s part three of a continuing series on New Mexico artists: a review of bassist Jon Gagan’s Transit 3: migration.
Transit 3: migration, Jon Gagan (Spiral
Subwave Records International)
Bassist/keyboardist/composer Jon Gagan is no hostage to genre. Though an eminently
accomplished jazz bassist—he’s backed such luminaries as Mose Allison, Milt “Bags”
Jackson, Nat Adderley, and Eddie Harris—he started off playing garage rock, and he’s equally comfortable in funk and world music settings. He made his name as bassist, arranger, and musical director for Ottmar Liebert, the “nouveau flamenco” guitarist who’s sold gazillions of records.
Gagan’s own compositions reflect that broad experience and his desire to create instrumental music that ignores “the genre thing,” as he told me in an interview a few years ago. Gagan wants to appeal to “a different sort of person, who’s not necessarily just interested in, let’s say, instrumental prowess or jazz skill—but just likes the sound of music.”
The impeccably produced Transit 3: migration, like its predecessors, Transit and Transit 2,
accomplishes that objective, blending jazz, world beat, funk, and wordless pop to tell “the story of mankind’s escape from a depleted Earth.”