Chris Fagan Quartet

Editor | Oct 06, 2020

"Fagan is a fluent, discerning improviser with a clear and pleasing tone...In fact, the last alto saxophonist who caused me to sit up and take such emphatic notice was a youngster named Richie Cole."

Jack Bowers—Jazz Now Magazine

"...juicy, piquant tone on alto, a brisk, non-clichéd sense of phrasing and a dynamite feel for swing."

Paul de Barros—The Seattle Times

Jazz saxophonist Chris Fagan attended Pomona College in Claremont California in the early 80s. Once a fertile jazz colony, Claremont gave birth to such leading jazz figures as Arthur Blythe, David Murray and James Newton. While in Claremont, Fagan studied jazz with clarinetist, John Carter while coming under the wing of jazz trumpeter, Bobby Bradford as well. Fagan made his professional debut with drummer Dick Berk at The Becket Jazz Festival in 1984.

In 1986, Chris Fagan traveled to New York City on a National Endowment for the Arts grant for jazz study with tenor saxophonist David Murray. Fagan pursued jazz in New York until 1991, working with small groups as well as big bands. Fagan appeared in New York clubs such as Visiones and Zanzibar with names as diverse as organist Jack McDuff, trumpeter Dave Douglas, and Sea Breeze recording artist Bill Warfield. Fagan also made regular appearances at Greenwich Village’s Blue Willow with his own quartet. In 1991, Fagan moved to Amsterdam to become guest saxophone instructor at the Sweelinck Conservatory. Upon his return to New York in 1992, Fagan released his debut album entitled Lost Bohemia, which features Reggie Workman on bass, Andrew Cyrille on drums, and long time mentor, Bobby Bradford on trumpet. The CD was released in Europe and the United States on the Open Minds record label based in Germany.

With a mind towards pursuing jazz music in a more humane environment, Chris Fagan moved to Seattle, Washington in 1995. In July of 1997, Fagan recorded Signs of Life, his second CD release. The album features fellow New York City refugees Chuck Bergeron and Brian Kirk, as well as fresh Northwest piano talent John Hansen.

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