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Michael Hackett | Circles

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Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz Jazz: Mainstream Jazz Moods: Type: Improvisational
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by Michael Hackett

Straight ahead jazz sextet, quintet, and quartet with a forward looking New York vibe.
Genre: Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. My Good Friend
6:57 album only
2. Blues to John
5:52 album only
3. Heidi's Song
8:44 album only
4. Invitation
9:39 album only
5. Even As We Speak
9:14 album only
6. Circles
13:43 album only
7. Unrequited
7:41 album only
8. Never Let Me Go
6:41 album only


Album Notes
Michael Hackett is a multifaceted performer who has toured, performed or recorded with Natalie Cole, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra Jr., Ben Vereen, Larry Willis, Sir Roland Hanna, Larry Coryell, Keeter Betts, Steve Novosel, Ron Holloway, and many others. An Oregon native, Mr. Hackett was until recently located in New York City where he appeared with the Toshiko Akioshi Jazz Orchestra, The Anita Brown Jazz Orchestra, The Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra, Frankie Valli, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, and LaBamba and the Big Band. Mr. Hackett has performed with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and can be heard on the Sea Breeze Jazz label recording of the Don Junker Big Band "Junk Mail Special", on the Summit Records release of the Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra "Live at Birdland" and recently finished recording the music of jazz legend David Baker with the Buselli/Wallrab Jazz Orchestra in Indianapolis. Michael's first CD as a leader entitled "Circles" has received critical acclaim and is now available on the Summit Records label. Mr. Hackett's playing has also been featured in numerous television and radio commercials.

"Hackett does indeed have a beautiful tone suggesting the clarion and lyrical tone of prime-time Freddie Hubbard.......One can well assume that Hackett's recording future will progress nicely and that we can look forward to his future ventures." - Michael P. Gladstone-All About Jazz



to write a review

Dan McClenaghan-All About Jazz

Michael Hackett.........puts together a first rate sextet for his debut as leade
Michael Hackett | Summit Records

By Dan McClenaghan
The musicians with years of big band experience always seem to be able to put together sharp-sounding smaller ensembles. Trumpeter/flugelhornist Michael Hackett—who has appeared with the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra, the Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestra, and is currently a member of the Buselli/Wallrab Jazz Orchestra—puts together a first rate sextet for his debut as leader, Circles, resulting in a fresh and vibrant take on mainstream jazz.

The three horn (trumpet/sax/trombone) front line isn't as common as it once was—think of John Coltrane's Blue Train—but in Hackett's hands, with his arrangements, the sound has a very melodic, mainstream feel.

Five of the eight tunes are Hackett originals, and his is an engagingly lyrical voice as a tunesmith and horn man, bringing some of his influences (Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw) to mind, on a start-to-finish inspired effort that prominently features pianist Mike Holober (notable for his own Canyons and Thought Trains, released in '03 and '04, respectively, by Sons of Sound) fronting a wonderfully elastic rhythm section with his slightly unorthodox and colorful, but never distracting approach to accompaniment.

On this all-around excellent set, the thirteen-minute title tune stands out, with a Maria Schneider-esque feeling of liquid movement; and “Even As We Speak,” with Hackett using the mute, is full of soft tones shading an introspective song that features a gorgeously understated rhythm section interlude.

First rate and forward-looking straight through, Circles closes out on a perfect note with ”Never Let Me Go,” a hit for Nat King Cole, wrapping up the set on an intimate straightahead rendering of the familiar melody by Hackett, while Holober splashes bits of bright color behind him.

Visit Michael Hackett on the web at www.michaelhackett.com.

Jay Harvey-The Indianapolis Star

Michael Hackett has clearly paid his dues ............the trumpeter serves notic
A jazz musician who draws on wide experience before making a debut recording as a leader tends to reward the listener with an absence of bluster and bravado. The distillation of years of association with a variety of stars has a way of trimming inessential elements.

Michael Hackett has clearly paid his dues and probably some of his bills, and now has a little something set aside for himself. The result is "Circles" (Summit Records).

Born in Oregon, trained in Bloomington and seasoned in a variety of New York bands, the trumpeter serves notice here that he's a self-possessed interpreter and a composer with a true sense of proportion. The title tune, for example, with its aptly titled, rounded theme, seems to bring out the color in the leader's tone that is sometimes too pastel elsewhere on the disc. And an elegant bass solo by Phil Palombi more than makes up for excessive noodling in Mike Holober's piano solo.

Throughout the disc, the support of the sidemen enables Hackett's compositions (plus a few standards) to make a firm impression. Saxophonist Todd Bashore, despite a tendency to throw notes at a melody in his solos, is stalwart in ensemble playing. On several numbers, trombonist Vincent Gardner adds depth to the front line and a warm voice to the solo layout. Drummer Aaron Scott provides an energetic foundation, and, in an assertive arrangement of Bronislaw Kaper's "Invitation," comes to the fore as an imaginative player.

Call Star reporter Jay Harvey at (317) 444-6402.