Solo bassoon and bassoon looping recorded live in the studio. From his roots as an award-winning classical bassoonist and jazz saxophonist- Paul has sought to expand the lexicon of the bassoon while creating a unique musical voice. As a jazz/fusion bassoonist: Paul has recorded and/or performed with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Wayne Shorter, Peter Erskine, with 6-string bassist in the group OoN, Billy Childs, Harmonica virtuoso Gregorie Maret, Billy Higgins, David Binney, Ray Charles, Charlie Hunter, Patrice Rushen, Alex Acuna, Dennis Chambers, Abraham Laboriel, Medeski Martin & Wood, Bob Weirʼs RATDOG, T. Lavitz from Dixie Dregs, Jeff Coffin, Jeff Sipe, Jonas Hellborg, Afro/Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, Bob Moses, Kai Eckhardt, Peter Apfelbaum and the Hieroglyphics Ensemble, The Paul Dresher Ensemble, DAVKA, St. Joseph Ballet Company, The Klezmorim, as jazz soloist with the Oakland Eastbay Symphony Orchestra, as classical soloist with the Napa Symphony Orchestra (non-improvising) and many more.
On New Days, he greatly expands our understanding of the capabilities of a bassoon. Covering jazz, classical, and beyond, Hanson navigates a range of styles and moods all with a beautiful, round, and sweet sound. New Days was recorded live in the studio using Cookie’s signature Extended Sound Environment and, as always, the sound is superb. Hanson’s unique vision for bassoon matched with his technical mastery of his instrument combine for a mesmerizing experience that only gets better with each listen. Album opener “Wichita Lineman” is a beautiful, meandering jazz number. Using loop recording, Hanson lays down a moving bassoon bass line and then improvises on top. Hanson’s tone is deliciously sweet. At times, his bassoon almost sounds like a soprano saxophone, creating an uplifting mood like a crisp fall day in New York City’s Central Park.
But Hanson’s classical chops are impeccable as well. His rendition of the Allemande movement of Bach’s Cello Suite No. 2 in D Minor is superb. The richness of his sound is in full effect here and his melodic lines flow continuously just as a cello would. To hear this beautiful piece as played on a bassoon is a unique treat. The fifth track, “98 Skidoo” expands the sound of the bassoon even more, this time exploring a jazz fusion sound. Again using loops, Hanson lays down a funky syncopated bass line using a special electronic pedal, transforming his bassoon almost into an electric guitar. On top, he solos with special attention to lyricism in his jazz improvisation, all the while maintaining a signature open, sweet tone.