What would it sound like if a jazz bassist who scores films and arranges for live hip-hop and R&B were to put together his own record? What's next for a twenty-something pianist, already one of the great composers of his generation, now that he has a completely new band and repertoire for it?
Pianist Aaron Parks — once a Blue Note recording artist, and the "A" in the collective band James Farm — has for some time been brewing up a new project. Intriguingly, Pete Rende will be playing analog synthesizers, making for a two-keyboard lineup with bass (Chris Smith) and drums (Marlon Browden). The band has a collection of original tunes, all relatively new; it's yet unrecorded, though when it comes time to document the stuff, Rende's experience as a recording engineer may come in handy.
Bassist Derrick Hodge plays mean straight-ahead jazz on the acoustic bass — notably, he and Parks served together in Terence Blanchard's quintet. But he's also a film composer like Blanchard, and the electric bassist of choice for many a hip-hop or R&B artist. (He's currently the musical director for Maxwell.) His unclassifiable debut album, Live Today, is soon to be released; it features an even wider palette of references, including gospel, singer-songwriter music and funk. The band he's assembled for this occasion can follow him to all those places.
On Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. ET, The Checkout: Live From 92Y Tribeca paired the bands of Aaron Parks and Derrick Hodge in a double bill. The concert was broadcast on air via WBGO and in an online video webcast at this page on NPR Music, with live online chat. For more information about this series and the full concert archive, visit npr.org/checkoutlive.
Aaron Parks, 'My Favorite Raincoat'
Derrick Hodge, 'Holding Onto You' (Feat. Alan Hampton)
- Aaron Parks, piano
- Pete Rende, analog synthesizers
- Chris Smith, bass
- Marlon Browden, drums
- "Dreams Of A Mechanical Man"
- "In A Garden"
- "The Shadow And The Self"
- "The Storyteller"
- "Your Favorite Raincoat"
- all compositions by Aaron Parks
- Derrick Hodge, electric bass
- Kris Bowers, piano
- Dontae Winslow, trumpet
- Jamire Williams, drums
- with Alan Hampton, guitar/vocals
- "The Real"
- "Fall" (W. Shorter)
- "Dances Of Ancestors"
- Solo Bass Improvisation
- "New Orleans"
- "Holding Onto You" (with Alan Hampton)
- all compositions by Derrick Hodge, unless otherwise noted
Credits: Josh Jackson, producer and host. David Tallacksen, mix engineer. Michael Downes, assistant.