Saturday, July 2, 2011

Chuck Deardorf: Transparence

Origin Arts
By Ric Bang
Buy CD: Transparence

Chuck Deardorf is one of many Pacific Northwest musicians who have made this locale a key area for jazz; he has lived and worked there for almost 30 years. He began playing the trombone as a youngster, but soon switched to acoustic bass; he then added electric bass and bass guitar. He’s a first-call artist for groups visiting Seattle, is currently a member of several organizations working in that region, often plays with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and — in his spare time — teaches at the Cornish College of the Arts. Deardorf’s discography as a sideman is extensive; this is his first album as leader.

Deardorf is joined here by a dozen artists with whom he has worked during his career. All but a pair of these — Hans Teuber and Richard Cole, on sax — are members of the rhythm section: Two are pianists, three are percussionists and the rest are guitarists. Deardorf, the sole bassist, utilizes acoustic and electric instruments as well as a bass guitar. The combos on this album vary from duets to septets.

The 10 tracks consist of several standards (including “Collage,” based on the chord structure of “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To”), pop tunes (John Lennon’s “Dear Prudence” and Jobim’s “Zingaro”) and originals by some of the artists who participated in the session.

The tunes that utilize both bass and guitar (or guitars) are particularly noteworthy. Deardorf isn’t just a bassist who sets and maintains the rhythm; he’s an outstanding soloist capable of playing intricate runs and patterns which, in conjunction with the guitar(s), produce truly beautiful and breathtaking music.

You’ll listen to this album, in its entirety, again and again.

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