| Matt Resnicoff -- Guitar Player, December,
If you've been waiting for the follow-up to Jerry hahn's last record, Moses, the one with Merl Sauders and all the fine volume pedal work, your twenty-two year anticipation is over. hahn has taken two days out of his guitar-lesson schedule and resumed his recording career.
So who says teaching is thankless work? A couple of Hahn's students, one a stock-market high roller, put up cash to send him to New York. There a session arranged by another student (and hot player in his own right), Glenn Alexander, who produced Hahn's Time Changes. With saxist Dave Liebman and ace upright bassist Steve LaSpina checking in on ear-bending originals and some Dolphy and Oliver Nelson tunes. Hahn lets off bluesy, speed-picked bursts of notes that sound like they've been held in abeyance for, well, two decades. "I've been waiting to record for years and years," he says, "but I was never around musicians I felt were adequate, and besides, it takes money. As far as touring goes, I haven't figured out a way to break even travelling in the United States."
All of which kept him settled in a 15-year teaching position at Wichita State and led him to a move to his current base in Denver. [ Hahn has just recently moved back to Portland, OR.] Hahn spent some of that time assembling his 1970's Guitar Player columns into two Mel Bay books [ now three ] and devoted himself to composing. He laughs at the idea that, heard in succession, his two most recent records may suggest two completely different players.
"I'm more focussed now," he says, "and have a better idea of how to put an album together. There's varied material on Moses with the solid body and the [hollow Gibson] L7 - it definitely had rock influences. Also Ron Miles, a trumpeter who works with Bill Frisell, says Bill's been telling him I was a big influence. I didn't understand it until I listened to my old stuff, and saw where what I did with the volume pedal and the sweeter things I used to write are similar to what he's doing. But as far as any thread of continuity in my work, I don't lnow if there is one."
Hahn cut Time Changes on an Ibanez George Benson with a rewound McCarty pickup, run through an Engl Straight and a Fender Twin, with a Roland SDE-3000 for chorus. The sound's modern warmth, like Hahn's wild bending and speed licks, may be an acquired taste for traditionalists. "I've had people tell me, 'You're a jazz player - you can't bend notes," he chuckles, "but I've always done that. I don't care to hear the standard jazz guitar tone. I like to get everything out of the guitar I can."
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