May 20, 2024

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CD review: Chris Hajian – My City, My Story 2022: Video, CD cover

Chris Hajian said: This record is the culmination of my creative life growing up and living in New York City. I was born in Queens NYC and jazz was around me all the time.

As my musical education continued, the city provided me with endless inspiration for which my musical identity was shaped. I was captivated by the freedom and the range of expression that was inherent in this art form. As my career as a composer developed, I found myself drawn to film for which I have worked substantially in as a film composer over the last 25 years. The connection between sight and sound fascinates me and it is a big part of my compositional process. Connecting what I see to what I hear is something that is really important to me and it is this exploration between my jazz roots and my film aesthetic that has lead me to create this album. It is the story of my life experiences in a city that has been the backdrop for where my musical ideas are born – once said Chris Hajian.

New York composer Chris Hajian, perhaps best known for his scores for a number of Alex Zamm comedies such as Inspector Gadget 2, Beverley Hills Chihuahua 2 and Tooth Fairy 2, continues to add to his growing portfolio of scores for documentary films (e.g., Nursery University and Unraveled) with his score for First Position.

Overall, Hajian’s score ably emphasis on the emotional ups and downs as they attempt to win through against the odds. The score subtly enhances the emotions felt adults and only occasionally does the composer “let rip” with some overt dramatisation of the score. Although there are a few occasions where the limitations of the synth origins of some of the strings can be heard.

Chris Hajian’s score is an enjoyable listen that never disappoints when listened to as a stand-alone listening experience. Only as a composer promo, Hajian’s score is an ideal title for one of several labels looking to release quality scores for widespread distribution and appreciation.

In a written interview with me, Chris Hajian says․ The musicianship and the sound of the album I am so proud of. The way I selected the players that are featured on each title is something that is so satisfying. But…  What I love most is how the story behind the music resonates with the listeners. So much of my album is about me expressing my lifetime of experiences growing up and living in NYC and the exploration between my Jazz Roots and my film aesthetic. I believe when you let the audience into your life they feel close to the music because they can relate to their own feelings and it allows them to connect emotionally. What I love most is the Authenticity and Honesty in how it was conceived. Having certain musicians that I always wanted to work with such as Chris Potter and Eric Harland. Others I had known and worked with before so their sound was in my mind and as I composed I used that  association to guide me. The other important thing is as a producer I like putting certain players in creative situations that might be a slight departure for them. It allows a certain freshness to the performances as the musicians are discovering something new in themselves.

My overall impression is very positive.

01.Boiling Point
02.A City in Solitude
03.Bright Lights, Big City
04.Daymares and Nightdreams
05.For Who I Am
06.Another Place
07.Noches De Verano En Nueva York 1982
08.Dark Morning
09.In the Gutter
10.See You in the Next Life
11.The Road Ahead
12.The Conversation
13.December Song
14.Endings Are New Beginnings

Conceived, composed and arranged by Chris Hajian
Produced by Chris Hajian and John Kilgore

Chris Potter – Tenor Saxophone
Michael Rodriguez – Trumpet
John Patitucci – Bass
Eric Harland – Drums
Joe Locke – Vibes
Andy Ezrin – Piano
Will Lee – Bass
Andrew Sterman – Alto Sax
Gerardo Rodriquez – Trumpet
Andy Snitzer – Tenor Sax
Jim Hynes – Trumpet and Flugelhorn
Barry Danielian – Trumpet and Flugelhorn
Brian Dunne – Drums
Dave Rieckenberg – Alto Saxophone
Mike Davis – Trombone
Ryan Keberle – Trombone
Randy Andos – Trombone
Ozzie Melendez – Trombone
Diego Camacho – Percussion
Sam Dillon – Tenor Saxophone
Charles Pillow – Alto Flute
Bashiri Johnson – Percussion
Chris Hajian – Piano and Rhodes

 

My City, My Story by Chris Hajian on Amazon Music - Amazon.com

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