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Chuck Deardorf: transparence

Most major American cities (and, for that matter, most European ones) contain a jazz musician who is the default bassist of record. You run into them all over town, in all manner of ensembles, kicking ass and taking names.

In Seattle, Wash., it is Chuck Deardorf. He is known for making other people sound good, not leading his own projects. But transparence argues that he is also a strong and smart bandleader. Deardorf blends various configurations of 14 musicians and combines sessions recorded in several places over three years into a coherent album statement with continuity of tone. It is no mean trick. His own voice is the primary unifying factor. He is a quick, clear rhythm-section player and an articulate, interesting soloist on all of his instruments: acoustic, Toucan and Fender fretless basses and acoustic bass guitar.

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