Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Derrick Hodge: The Second

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.
"Assuming the role of all-encompassing auteur": Derrick Hodge

The music of bassist Derrick Hodge has been described as cinematic, and for The Second, his obviously titled sophomore release as a leader, he assumes the role of all-encompassing auteur. Hodge plays every instrument on eight of this album’s dozen tracks, and all but one finds him credited as sole composer. The result, influenced by rock, ambient sounds and a touch of Bowie, is as confident, evocative and emotionally resonant as anything you will hear in 2016. Hodge largely foregoes virtuosic soloing in favor of enveloping sonic environments, with melodic interludes emerging organically from the airy surrounding spaces. “Song 3” finds punchy electric bass cradled by gentle single-note piano and powerful sound loops that cyclically fade and rise. A similar ethereal ambience informs “Heart of a Dreamer,” while a wildly contrary atmosphere rules the gritty “Clock Strikes Zero,” where Hodge’s razor-edged electric guitar skitters over crunching electronics and whipcrack drums. On an earthier tip, the finger-snaps-driven “World Go Round” plays like a blissful acoustic Grateful Dead outtake, and Hodge’s husky, earnest vocals cut to the heart on the bittersweet “From Me to You.”

A trio of horns joins Hodge on the loping throwback “For Generations”; there, the march-tinged phrasing of trumpeter Keyon Harrold and trombonist Corey King smoothly offset gruff rhythm-and-blues tones from tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland. Drummer Mark Colenburg contributes mightily to the dramatic, futuristic “Underground Rhapsody” and to the title track, which Colenburg co-composed with Hodge. On this cut, the drummer’s unwavering time sustains surging rock-guitar intensity, subtly forceful piano and keyboards that crest and break upon the ear.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published