Live Today signals a new journey for bassist and composer Derrick Hodge as he embarks on a solo recording career. The title alludes to his top guiding principle in creating his 2013 debut album, a stunning achievement that showcases the profound depth and breadth of his musicality. Even though Hodge has played with such jazz titans as pianist Mulgrew Miller and trumpeter (and labelmate) Terence Blanchard, as well as R&B stars Jill Scott and Maxwell, the 33-year-old bassist is probably best known for anchoring the Grammy award-winning Robert Glasper Experiment. Similar to how Glasper concocts a distinctive mlange of modern jazz, hip-hop, and R&B, Live Today too integrates those genres and more into something that's potent and personal.
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hottest sounds are coming from your stereo.
This album by Derrick Hodge is the answer
to all your problems when it comes to jazzing
up your weak playlists. Get down and enjoy!
That brief insight into my musical interests aside, I am somewhat skeptical of music from today, I hear what's out there for talent and cringe and quickly confide in something that's stood the test of time like Coltrane Jazz or Led Zeppelin II, haha! So I was on Spotify checking out some of the new music from the Blue Note label and ran across this album and commenced to playing it in it's entirety, something I haven't done with a new album in I don't know how long! Every track on this is awesome, although Dances With Anscestors, Live Today and Gritty Folk are standouts to me. Gritty sure has a 'miles' fusion vibe to it for sure!
The music is very masterfully done and I hear the blending of old with new and it sounds great! I am really getting excited in what I have been hearing from the Blue Note label lately, and in Jazz, just don't tell Wynton! I will look for more from Derrick in the near future, hopefully!
However this work is both carefully crafted as well as experimental. You will hear something of European influence in songs like Boro March and Message of Hope both of them infused with that so called angular sound we associate with great jazz music. You will here a more earthy sound in Holding Onto You featuring vocalist Alan Hampton, on acoustic guitar, all the way to the rather hard jazz funk of Gritty Folk.
If you want to get a sample of his playing, just listen to Hodge's solos on the Terence Blanchard CDs, but to get the full range of Hodge's talent, please, go into your nearest independent record store play the CD at the music station. Odds are it'll soon be in heavy rotation on your own player.
All I can say is heed the words of those three out of four reviewers as well as mine. Do yourself a favor and BUY THIS CD!!! It's a true thriller.
To call this album jazz is indeed a stretch and I can only assume that is what threw off our friend J.T. Murphy down there, who claims to be from "Jazz Heaven, NJ." To give this album 1 star is not only misguided but disrespectful. This ain't your Dad's jazz, there is no bebop here. This album crosses many genres, encompasses astonishing virtuosity, and is indeed original. You can start to get a feel for Derrick Hodge on this album and his message - "Live Today" - by sitting back and letting the beautiful melodies, rhythms, harmonies and performance take you away. Enjoy hearing Glasper, Chris Dave, Alan Hampton, Common, Marcus Strickland and more play their hearts out and redefine what we think of jazz as we approach the new fusion of jazz.
Happy listening. Cheers.