"We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds...[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers... And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for [another ]... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery... And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression." ~ Thomas Jefferson
CD Review: Dan Hagen - The Journey
Column by Mike Powers.
Exclusive to STR
Jazz guitarist Dan Hagen’s impressive debut release, The Journey, is a diverse compilation of vintage covers and distinctly original compositions. The solo instrumental effort--an eclectic mix of funk, groove and jazz fusion with a distinct Latin flavor--was largely inspired by Hagen’s committed involvement in the liberty movement.
A multi-talented artist and noted liberty activist, Hagen is based out of Nashville, Tennessee, where he created and co-organized the inaugural Music City Liberty Fest last year.
The Journey starts with a masterful cover of the Marvin Gaye classic “What’s Going On,” the emotional anti-war protest song that is as relevant today as it was 40 years ago. Its relaxed rhythm provides a refreshing take on this timeless classic.
“River of Spring” is an alluring Latin original that reveals Hagen’s deep Brazilian influences and evokes a Mediterranean feel, with a sound reminiscent of jazz fusion guitarist Marc Antoine. The song was inspired by the devastating Nashville floods in May 2010 that resulted in the loss of dozens of lives and left billions of dollars in property damage in its wake. Jim Williamson’s flugelhorn adds a delightful dimension to the piece.
It’s hard to listen to Hagen’s upbeat cover of the Stevie Wonder classic “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” without tapping your feet or moving in time to the beat. Hagen considers Stevie Wonder to be a great musical influence, citing Wonder’s Innervisions as one of his favorite records.
Elsewhere, Hagen rocks a funky New Orleans groove (“Sayonara Bob”), wails a haunting tribute to lives lost in war (“Souls Cry”), and delivers a stylish flamenco (“Nina Angel”). Hagen closes the album with a soulful, improvisational performance (“Revolution”) that puts all of his talents on display. Amazingly, it was recorded in just one take.
If jazz is art for your ears, then The Journey is an eight-piece museum of finely-crafted masterpieces.
Let’s hope this journey is only beginning.
Track Listing: What’s Going On; Altered Spaces; Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing; River of Spring; Sayonara Bob; Souls Cry; Nina Angel; Revolution
Dan Hagen: http://www.reverbnation.com/danhagen
Buy his music here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/dan-hagen/id459445060