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DERRICK HODGE

The Second

Blue Note 002452102

 

 

 

  1. The Second

  2. Transitions

  3. Song 3

  4. You Believed

  5. World Go Round

  6. Heart Of A Dreamer

  7. Underground Rhapsody

  8. Clock Strike Zero

  9. For Generations

  10. Don Blue

  11. Going

  12. From Me To You

    Derrick Hodge - Bass, drums, instrumentation, vocals

    Keyon Harrold - Trumpet (track 9)

    Corey King - Trombone (track 9)

    Marcus Strickland - Tenor sax (track 9)

    Mark Colenburg - Drums (tracks 1, 7, 11)

    Philadelphia-born but these days resident in Denver, Derrick Hodge is a by-word for versatililty. This multi-instrumentalist, primarily a bass player, has shown himself at ease on both the electric and upright forms of that instrument. In addition, he is a composer and music producer and director. His numerous film music credits include those for such directors as Spike Lee, for instance. He has been a Grammy winner on two occasions and is known for his work with the genre-bending Robert Glasper Experiment, as well as for the likes of Terence Blanchard and Terell Stafford. He has also recorded with rappers and rhythm and blues artistes and even had a commission from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. His first album as a leader for the renowned Blue Note label, Live Today, was released in 2013 and his follow-up is appropriately named The Second. He plays numerous instruments on the recording to telling effect, assisted only by drummer Mark Colenburg on three tracks and a classy trumpet, trombone and tenor sax line-up for one of the others.

    For me, For Generations was the outstanding track because of the excellent and cohesive ensemble playing of a strong, bluesy theme. This produced a classic jazz sound. My only grumble was that I wanted it to last longer! Yet Song 3 is almost as winning. Here we have an attractive theme played with tenderness and grace. Going is out of the same stable. There's an interesting vocal from Hodge on the ballad From Me To You, revealing that his sense of musicianship extends to his voice. Tracks such as The Second, You Believed and Don Blue are examples of the insistent grooves that can be heard throughout the disc. World Go Round, meanwhile, is a quirky item with a hint of country music about it (I could almost hear that train coming!). Heart Of A Dreamer offers the kind of atmospheric soundscape that would be ideal for a certain kind of film. Transitions is pensive and brief. I was less engaged by the repetitive Underground Rhapsody and for that matter, Clock Strike Zero, though the latter had an intriguing eastern feel about it at times.

    Still in his thirties, Derrick Hodge has already made his mark and the good news is there's much more we can anticipate from this musician of all the talents. He has his own distinctive sound but you can also catch snatches of the electric bass greats on this disc so he's steeped in the tradition. More than that, he's a consummate all-rounder. It'll be fascinating to see how the future opens up for him.

    James Poore




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