Blue Note
World's Finest Jazz Club & Restaurants
New York Rio Milan Hawaii Napa Beijing Tokyo Nagoya
 
Main Menu
Show Schedule
FAQ
Giftshop
Suggest Artist
Membership
Live Recordings
Jazz Reviews
Contact Us
InterJazz
Highly Recommended
Show Information
DERRICK HODGE

2017-08-23
Showtime: 8:00PM
Doors Open at 6:00PM

MAKE RESERVATION
BAR TABLE
$15.00 $25.00




[ Complete Show Schedule... ]
Derrick Hodge
FEATURING:
Derrick Hodge - Bass
Mike Mitchell - Drums
Mike Aaberg - Keyboards

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 debut album, a stunning achievement that showcases the profound depth and breadth of his musicality. “This whole album was putting on my composer’s hat, but letting go and making sure that I’m giving people raw examples of how I feel on any given day,” he explains.



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 mélange of modern jazz, hip-hop, and R&B, Live Today too integrates those genres and more into something that’s potent and personal. However, it is no Experiment offshoot. Similarities aside, the Live Today asserts a unique sound.

Glasper does contribute on several songs on Live Today, as do the rest of the Experiment members: saxophonist/vocoderist Casey Benjamin, and drummers Chris Dave and Mark Colenburg. Hodge, however, cast a wider net for recruiting musicians. The diverse cast includes rapper Common, singer/guitarist, Alan Hampton, keyboardists James Poyser and Aaron Parks, saxophonist Marcus Strickland, trumpeter Keyon Harrold, and the American String Quartet, among others.

As a bassist, Hodge tucks in his virtuosic prowess to focus more on the overall compositional sound. “I didn’t think so much about the timbre and the sound of the actual instrument that I play when I wrote this music,” he says, “I gravitated toward the band sound and worked within that framework.”

Live Today undoubtedly brims with communal spirit. It opens with the suspenseful “The Real” on which horns lurk through murky textures created by Hodge and turntablist Jahi Sundance. Soon afterward, the song evolves into joyous jazz-funk, buoyed by an infectious zouk gait.

In addition to Glasper, Hodge credits Blanchard and Miller with influencing his approach to band leading and being an honest musician. “The common denominator is that they all put me in situations where they said, ‘Be you,’” Hodge explains, “In that same spirit, I put my trust in my decision to work with the musicians on this record and let it be what it is. Once they’re in my band, I don’t try to change them.”

Now residing in Los Angeles, Hodge grew up right outside of Philadelphia in Willingboro, N.J. He started playing electric bass in the elementary school orchestra. When the high school jazz band needed a bassist, they recruited him. On the suggestion of his high-school band teacher, Hodge continued his formal jazz education at Temple University. “That was the beginning of my jazz journey. The first jazz album that I heard was Never Will I Marry by Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley.”

While majoring at Temple University in performance, Hodge played with such Philly greats as tenor saxophonist Bootsie Barnes and trumpeter Terrell Stafford. At the same time, Hodge reaped considerable session work with some of Philly’s finest modern R&B artists such as Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, and Floetry. “So much was happening in Philly at the time. No one really knew that all of these artists were going to blow up so quickly,” Hodge recalls. But that's certainly what happened.

While on tour with Scott in support of her 2000 debut, Who Is Jill Scott?, Hodge arrived at the crossroads and had to decide whether he was going to continue playing with her or finish school. After a heartfelt conversation with Scott, he returned to Temple and continued developing his jazz chops.

Live Today culminates all of Hodge’s experiences working with various jazz and R&B artists, resulting in music that’s at once adventurous yet accessible, and more important extremely personal. “I wanted to be honest and transparent to all of the people who were supporting me and wishing me well,” Hodge says, “I wanted this album to give them real snapshots of how I felt as an artist at a given moment on a given day. Let them be a part of my journey.”

 

Blue Note
131 W. 3rd St
New York, NY 10012
212-475-8592
[

Sorry, but a Javascript-enabled browser is required to email me.

]

  Designed & Hosted By InterJazz