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 BowersJazz
piquant tone on alto, a brisk, non-clichéd sense of phrasing and
a dynamite feel for swing." Paul de BarrosThe
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.
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 Villages 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.