Chris Pasin | Detour Ahead

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Jazz: Hard Bop Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Detour Ahead

by Chris Pasin

Chris Pasin's first album as a leader and composer featuring Dannie Richmond, Bennie Green, Rufus Reid, Steve Slagle
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Lost And Found
8:43 $0.99
2. It Doesn't Matter Now
8:50 $0.99
3. Jackhammer
4:19 $0.99
4. Detour Ahead
5:59 $0.99
5. The Light At the End of the Tunnel
9:48 $0.99
6. Enigma
5:22 $0.99
7. My Romance
7:35 $0.99
8. Island
9:50 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
What The Press Is Saying About CHRIS PASIN Detour Ahead

Trumpeter Chris Pasin tried to move on from jazz, but now he's back. He's a graduate of New England Conservatory's prestigious jazz program and played with many of the greats, before leaving jazz for several years. To celebrate his return, and perhaps give a glimpse of more good things to come he's brought out a never before released gem from 1987 titled Detour Ahead, featuring him alongside a band of Dannie Richmond, Rufus Reid, Benny Green, and Steve Slagle. The results are so vibrant and alive, that it's hard not to wonder why they fell into the vaults in the first place.

Pasin's trumpet tone is warm and clear, and his playing is grounded strongly in lyrical, adroit hard bop. The set mostly focuses on his compositions, which often walk teetering, angular patterns that still ground themselves strongly in classic jazz melody.

The beautiful “It Doesn't Matter Now” bears scars of pain like a good ballad should, with cutting pulls of arco bass and drawn out horn harmonies. Suggesting Mingus with a swinging double time section, and the bittersweet angularity of Monk, the composition allows for burning solos. First comes Green, who almost hesitates, gathering his powers before digging into the keys. Then Pasin carves a dirty, dark, and lovely statement over sparse accompaniment.

Drummer Dannie Richmond, always explosively understated throughout his career with the Mingus band, sounds even more restrained here, a year before his death. Some tracks seem nearly without drums, save for a smattering of hi-hat and toms, but this leaves a lot of space for everyone else to fill up, and they're up to the task. Green and Reid form a hypnotic tandem that brings an edge of nuance and tradition into the music.

”Jackhammer” is hot, hot fun. It's interesting to hear how the horns' harmonies reflect a distinctly eighties jazz sound, but solos from Pasin's energetic trumpet and Slagle's bright, loquacious alto, transcend time with a sheer, breathless excitement. “Island” brings in a touch of exotic Braziliana. Slagle takes a dizzyingly pretty turn on flute. Pasin mines the burnished golden sound of his mute for gems of Latin and bebop. Green's solo, with the sensitive bass playing of Reid driving him on, reaches new heights along the brighter side of the piano.

All this is enough to make the listener excited for what else Pasin has in store. He's setting the bar high for himself here. There's also a certain prophetic quality in the title: when he recorded this, did Pasin know that his own jazz career was headed for a somewhat substantial detour of its own? Whatever the case, it's good to have him back. - Warren Allen

chris pasin sounds genius and exhausting. and when that trumpet blasts it sounds like warrior music. it's music you listen to before going into battle.
John Shelton Ivany national news bureau

A solid player that cut his teeth on big bands but left the biz when the mundane world’s concerns took over his life has a come back to the tent now that his kids are grown and interested in music, unearthing this date recorded back in the 80s that has never been released and shows that he was learning his craft from the masters in fine form. A trumpet man that can bring great sound from his horn, Pasin can hold his head up high that he had it going on so well back in the day. A nice welcome back that hopefully will unlock promises that had to be deferred.- CHRIS SPECTOR MIDWEST RECORD

Not sure if the right word I’m looking for his “methodical”, but trumpeter Chris Pasin is someone who plays with precision and elegance at the same time, it is obvious he has had a lot of time with his instrument to create the kind of music one can hear on the soon-to-be-classic Detour Ahead (H20).

In the 8 songs here he plays in a regal manner, but also someone who isn’t afraid to let loose. “It Doesn’t Matter Now” begins as a sensual song before it dips into a bit of bebop before going back into its comfort zone, as he and Steve Slagle (also and soprano saxes & flute), Dannie Richmond (drums), Rufus Reid (bass), and Benny Green (piano) help him complete each sonic painting. When Green begins his solo in “It Doesn’t Matter Now” everyone allows him to fill in with his strokes, with Reid occasionally saying “how you doin’?” with his playing, there’s a moment around the 3:30 mark where they do a casual stroll and that was a nice touch. Most of the songs here are original compositions and they show how mature his playing was. Perhaps touring with Buddy Rich was a factor, or perhaps he admired his influences so much that he wanted to speak with them through music, not so much show how easily he could emulate them even if he wanted to. This is that dialogue. High compliments also go to “Island”, a close-to-10 minute song that features all of the emotions one could find in a song, with everyone giving it their all in a song that could be about solitude, inner peace, warmth, comfort, or all of the above.

What surprised me is the fact that this album was recorded 22 years ago, as he chose to step out of the music realm in order to live life. Detour Ahead is perhaps a poignant title for someone who did choose to take a detour in his personal journey. It is said that he is playing and recording again, and if life is about exploring the living, his follow-up to this is sure to be an album worth savoring. - John Book

In the music scene there are tales of greats, near-greats and just plain old folks who abandon the music world after the scuffling and frustrations prove to be too great. I suppose I was one of them, though I am in it again on some level now. I look back at my Berklee College of Music class and how few of them stayed on the scene. Some, spectacularly, true (Joe Lovano comes to mind, not to drop names). Many not.

As so the back story of trumpeter Chris Pasin has interest because he recorded a very good modern hard bop album in 1987. Split the scene completely. And now, 21 years later, he is releasing the recording and playing again, thanks in part to the musical awakening of his children.

Pasin's Detour Ahead (H20) would or should have been well received back when it was recorded. And today it still sounds current. Pasin has that Brown through Shaw school brassiness and might have made a real name for himself. He still might. His accompanying band is top drawer, with the great Dannie Richmond on drums and some very nice work from reedist Steve Slagle, not to mention Benny Green and Rufus Reid. The music is solid and noteworthy. The Pasin originals have a classic sound to them.

I wish Chris Pasin much success on his return, and his children too! - Greg Edwards

Chris Pasin: Detour Ahead (H2O Records H2O-01, available at www.cdbaby and elsewhere) Chris Pasin is a trumpet player and composer who, shortly after recording this album in 1987, took some two decades off from the jazz scene to raise a family. The release of this disc is part of his return to jazz. He is accompanied by an all-star cast: saxophonist Steve Slagle, pianist Benny Green, bassist Rufus Reid, and legendary drummer Dannie Richmond, best known for his long tenure with Charles Mingus. Indeed, many of Pasin's compositions are reminiscent of Mingus' style, such as the opening track, "Lost and Found." The next piece also has a Mingus feel. Entitled "It Doesn't Matter Now," it shifts tempos and allows plenty of blowing room. "Detour Ahead" is a straightforward ballad. "Enigma" utilizes a stop-time rhythm to great effect. Throughout the nine songs, clocking in at just over an hour, there is great playing by all. As Pasin returns to performing, the issuing of this CD should help many to discover a talented musician and writer. - Martin Z. Kasdan Jr.

Chris Pasin - DETOUR AHEAD: Here's an excellent trumpet-led quintet (Chris) coming up for release in September.... after several listens, I can tell you that if you dig on brass with class, you'll have to have this great CD! There are (for this listener, anyway) always keywords when I first listen to an artist, & with Pasin's compositions (6 out of the 8 tracks), that word is punch... he's able to knock you out with his superb timing and talent, but never takes anything away from the other players (Steve Slagle on sax, Benny Green's piano, Rufus Reid on bass & drums from Dannie Richmond), & the band is totally ON it from the opening bar to the very end. I particularly enjoyed Chris's original pieces, but a real standout was "Light At The End Of The Tunnel", a true "equal time" song... each player gets a space to shine the light of their impressive talent... some excellent rhythm shifts will have you tappin' toes (if you're my age), or gettin' right out ON that floor... this song is my favorite this year (& that's saying something... it really stands out for it's energy quotient & Pasin's relentless lead lines)! One minor criticism - it would be nice to have some track samples up somewhere to link in - but I'm sure they will be out there soon. The liner notes say Chris has been playing since he was nine years old, & it's readily apparent that he hasn't stopped his pursuit of quality blow (no, I did NOT mean that in the way it sounded) since then... I'm really impressed, & believe you will be hearing many more releases from this bright light on the jazz scene! "Detour Ahead" gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from my ears! - Rotcod Zzaj aka Dick Metcalf



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