Allan Hugo

Solomon Foster

Description: American Mongrel features, primarily Irish and German with a trace of American Indian. Black hair, fair skin, tends to wear a slightly amused look. 5'10", 160 pounds.

History: Allan was born in the Willamette Valley in 1966. His mother disappeared shortly after his birth, and he was raised by his father, an electrical engineer. At a young age he showed a remarkable talent for electronics, quickly completing every kit his father could bring home to amuse him -- from Radio Shack 101 Project kits to transistor radios to a Timex/Sinclair computer. He could quickly take apart electronic gizmos, reassembling them so that they would work better than they had originally. He got deeply into ham radio and won several science fairs.

But Alfred Hugo's dreams of his son following his footsteps were derailed when the teenaged Allan discovered a cache of his mother's old records in the basement. The jazz music of the late '50s came as a shock to the boy. The lyrics of Jon Hendricks and the singing of his trio charted a new direction for Allan, and soon he was scouring the countryside for old albums, and sneaking out to late night jam sessions.

That's where he finally attracted his mother's attention again. Raven was delighted at how "her" boy was turning out, and decided to reveal himself. And so at 17 Allan learned his mother was an old god still puttering around the universe. He learned that with a little coaxing, he could soar the sky as a raven. And he learned that his talent with electronics relied on the fact he could cheat.

Allan decided that getting away from Oregon was a good idea. He convinced his dad to send him to Northwestern. He told Alfred he was majoring in electrical engineering, specializing in music technology. He neglected to mention he was also working on a degree in philosophy, particularly the philosophy of science. He was captivated by the idea that despite the great success of science, the universe was not nearly as cut-and-dried as the scientific mindset would lead one to believe. Most nights he could be found in Chicago jazz clubs, making his fledgling steps as a professional singer.

He graduated in '89, and cut his first album that summer. It sank like a rock. Dejected, he took a job as a recording engineer, and was instantly successful. Today he is highly in demand, having a well-deserved reputation for making musicians sound their best. He has a bit of a sideline as a techno musician, built on his ability to make the most astounding sounds come out of synthesizers. At nights he still faithfully sings his jazz; he has released a CD on his own label every year since '94, and has a small but loyal group of fans.

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