Chris Fagan

Chris Fagan’s jazz education began under the mentorship of Bobby Bradford in the early 80’s when he attended Pomona College in Claremont California, a once fertile jazz colony that boasted the likes of James Newton, Arthur Blythe, and David Murray. Shortly thereafter, Fagan began snapping up local jazz gigs, and teaming up with heavyweight Los Angeles jazz talents such as Carl Burnett, Bob Maize, and Billy Childs. Fagan appeared at Claremont McKenna College’s Becket Jazz Festival with bassist Scott Colley and veteran drummer Dick Berk in 1984. During this period, Fagan also studied with modern post-bop vibes virtuoso, Charlie Shoemake and the noted avant-garde clarinetist John Carter, relationships that foreshadowed Fagan’s lifelong pursuit of jazz on all sides of the musical spectrum. After graduation from Pomona in 1985, Fagan spent a brief period in Washington DC appearing in funk bands throughout Northeast Washington. Fagan moved to New York City in 1986 after receiving an NEA jazz grant to study with tenor sax giant, David Murray. Fagan’s time with Murray consisted more of filling in at rehearsals for absent members of the David Murray Octet and Big Band, and reading through hand-copied original compositions from Murray’s library rather than traditional music lessons. A highpoint for Fagan was sitting in at the Village Vanguard with the David Murray Quartet which featured John Hicks, Ray Drummond and Ed Blackwell

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“Solid, solid, solid: alto saxophonist Chris Fagan has put together a crisp and convincing set, in which the balanced contributions of repertoire and players create a steady stream of small twists and surprises that sustain interest throughout.” ��” Bill Bennet, Jazz Times

“…(Fagan’s) playing has bite��”sometimes he almost spits notes out��”but it flows, too, and he swings, even when mixing it up in free exchanges with (Bobby) Bradford.” ��” Kevin Whitehead, NPR, Pulse!

“I’ve heard a number of big-name players with big-label recording contracts who didn’t impress me nearly as much as Chris Fagan….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


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