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

Jim Ferguson: Not Just Another Pretty Bass

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.

A pretty bass, a pretty face, and a pretty voice would not be used to describe bassists Slam Stewart with his one-octave-above vocalizing, or Major Holley with his deep growls, or even Jay Leonhart delighting with his witty tunes. But some guys just have it all and Jim Ferguson brings a total package to this debut recording. He’s an accomplished, trained vocalist as well as a skilled bassist.

His bass is tuneful and rich sounding. With a hard swinging band, Ferguson shows his stuff, laying down clean lines and vibrant solos, although this recording, of mostly ballads played at varied tempos, showcases his singing more than his playing. He sings like an Irish tenor-high, light, but full-bodied; there’s no Chet Baker wispiness. His title cut and Mose Allison’s “Swingin’ Machine” present Ferguson’s playful side, but the rest of this disc has romance pressed into its non-existent grooves.

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.