Paul Hanson has set new standards for what is possible on this most classical of woodwind instruments. His main instrument? The bassoon. As one reviewer puts it, “he simply transcends technique to a point where the listener no longer has in mind that it’s a BASSOON that he’s playing.”
Paul’s repertoire encompasses musical aspects of all modern styles of improvised music. 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.
Paul is a multi-instrumentalist. He has recorded and/or performed with Billy Cobham’s Crosswinds Ensemble, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Wayne Shorter, Peter Erskine, and Omar Sosa, to name a few. For Cirque du Soleil, he moved to Japan where he thrived as their lead musician for 3 years. He was the tenor saxophone soloist on Eddie Money’s hit single “Take Me Home Tonight”.
In the early 90’s he was part of a large innovative ensemble called Peter Apfelbaum and the Hieroglyphics. A recording deal with Island Records brought engineer, Cookie Marenco, to record several albums. Paul and Cookie were instant fans of each other’s work. Paul would hire Cookie to record many of his albums for his own label. “His ability to turn the bassoon into an electric guitar that rivalled Jimi Hendrix was amazing”, Cookie said, “The level of musicianship he would bring to the studio and those that wanted to be on his recordings were some of my fondest memories. Whether recordings with Billy Childs, Rob Ickes, Billy Higgins or others, it was always an incredible experience that I will always be proud of.”
When it came to choosing musicians for Blue Coast Records, it didn’t take long to open the studio doors and have Paul come in. Armed with his bassoon and electronic boxes, Paul created a solo performance with loops and live playing that is hard to imagine one person behind all that sound. From classical to pop to jazz to new age, he has created an album for Blue Coast Records like no other.