Monday, July 23, 2012

Johnny Hodges Yeah...About That Veritas 2012


Tower of Power meets the Brecker Brothers in the funk infused gem and first solo offering from Johnny Hodges (no - not that Johnny Hodges)! The trumpet playing Johnny Hodges has just dropped "Yeah.....About That." Hodges musical resume is most impressive with stints that range from Paul Anka to Diane Schuur to Joe Williams.

Best description might be contemporary bebop and ballads with groove to spare. An eclectic release that draws on Hodges experience has some Latin and blues tossed in for extra flavor. For a debut release with all original compositions Hodges has rolled the musical dice but the ever confident trumpet player is stoked about his new label Veritas and is blessed with a new if not more positive outlook on life since the passing of his mom back in February. Jazz musicians have it tough enough but Hodges can make lemon aid out of lemons and can take a personal hybrid to the outer reaches of the more contemporary side of jazz without becoming a commercial slave to fashion. I dig that!

"Dixie Twister" has a subtle reggae feel which plays right into Hodges soulful wheelhouse. "I'm Just A Country Bopkin, Jim" is a more open ended jam highlighted with Hodges pure tone and lyrical sense of urgency all contributing to a unique ebb and flow that makes Hodges a player to watch over the coming months. "First Try" has more of the Brecker Brothers feel to it but what makes it work so well is that Hodges doesn't try to play to far outside himself. No self indulgent brass pyrotechnics here but a musician with a keen lyrical sense that understands sometimes the zen like less is more is equally effective as pinning someones ears to the back wall.

A release you will keep coming back to!

Tracks: Dixie Twister; Yeah...About That; Cozumel; Cityscape; Para Ti, Mi Amor; The Fantasy; Kung Phu; First Try; I'm Just A Country Bopkin, Jim.

Personnel: Johnny Hodges: trumpet, all rhythm programming and brass; Bryan Cook: trumpet track 8; Jeff Barrone: guitar: tracks 3 & 8.