Thursday, October 1, 2009

Now's the Time: Angela Hagenbach

Is it possible for a person to be too attractive?

It's not a question I've ever needed to direct at myself, but I wonder if Angela Hagenbach's remarkable beauty has actually hampered her career in music. Her looks may be a distraction. The vocalist has been a fixture on Kansas City's jazz scene for well over a decade.

Three fine Hagenbach performances were recently uploaded to YouTube. She's backed by Jake Blanton on guitar, Roger Wilder on piano and Steve Rigazzi on bass. I'm unable to identify the drummer and percussionist.

Hagenbach plays Jardine's Friday, October 2, and Saturday, October 10.


carrie said...

That would be Doug Auwater on drums and Gary Helm on percussion.

Happy In Bag said...

Thanks for the tip, Carrie.

WLIB said...

So as an advocate (altho an admittedly cranky one) of KC's jazz scene, you equate being a fixture of that scene with being hampered career-wise?

Happy In Bag said...

That's not what I wrote, Lee.

I'm suggesting that discussions concerning Hagenbach inevitably start with her appealing appearance rather than with her repertoire or her vocal approach. And that might be part of the reason why she's not as well known as Karrin Allyson or Kevin Mahogany.

That said, I may be pitifully wrong.

Jeremy said...

Excellent video. I really like Jake Blanton. I'm gonna feel foolish taking the stage after him on the 10th.

Happy In Bag said...

Now that I've enjoyed a late lunch- a ham sandwich with a noodle side- I finally understand your point, Lee. So here's a proper response:

I didn't intend to belittle the concept of being a fixture on KC's music scene. It's a tremendous accomplishment.

I'm frustrated, however, that Hagenbach, along with artists including Ida McBeth and Myra Taylor, aren't widely celebrated outside Kansas City.

I apologize, Lee, for initially misunderstanding you.

And Jeremy- good luck!

WLIB said...

I agree that it's a shame Myra, Ida and Angela remain relatively unlauded in the wider world. But I think the key has more to do with geography than physiognomy. Karrin Allyson is also quite a looker, but one big difference is that she decamped to NYC, as did Kevin Mahogany. Which to me underlines the fact that despite the internet, the dynamics of the biz remain. Musicians who want to "hit the bigtime" need to tour a lot and perform where they can get strokes from the critics. For jazz musicians, those places are few, which is sad and frustrating. Look at our gal Marilyn Maye, who has been killing it all these years and now that all the critics love her in NY she's experiencing "a revival."

For those willing to forgo the fame, there is the opportunity to make a living playing and teaching (to which the cynical reply, "If you call that living...").

Sorry to drone on. You remain, as ever, one of my favorite people in the world. People, this man is a saint!

Jeremy, best of luck on the 10th!

Anonymous said...

You really have to be driven to try and make the big time. Looks are not enough. The quality of your instrument(voice)and musicianship are not enough. Living in KC makes it difficult. You've got to devote time to NYC or LA.

Karrin rarely works in NYC. Several times a year maybe...this last week at Dizzy's. You have to be willing to stay on the road non-stop. Karrin is continually evolving musically and she is not lazy either. Nobody works harder than Karrin. Her success is not an accident.

Ida is a killer but the work ethic is not there. Mahogany could write his own ticket but unfortunately he is a slacker. He broke Enja sales records but Columbia dropped him after three albums because of lack luster sales and work ethic. Word amongst concert promoters and producers is that Mahogany is very lazy.

When Myra was in her heyday she was not driven enough. She didn't secure the copyright on her own tune Spider and the Fly. Not really even sure how many songs she knows. Her repertoire is stagnant. Ida's might be too. Have not heard her for awhile.

As a professional musician you've got to have a plan.

Bird did, Pat Metheny did, Bobby Watson did, Karrin did, Norman Brown did, Gary Foster did, Larry Williams did, Mahogany did for awhile.