Well, let it be said that the combination (in one night) of singer Chris Turner and bass player Derrick Hodge was a real treat for the jazz festival this year. Both freaks of their fields, the Forum Theatre was set alight by two of the hottest names in new-jazz at the moment – both who have worked with some of the best and biggest names around.
Chris Turner rocked the stage with some sweet ‘camo’ get-up and belted out original tunes with effortless tone. His voice is flawless, soulful, charming..and big! That guy can hit some serious notes! Melbourne muso and Hiatus Kaiyotes’ bass player Paul Bender also played alongside Turner on the night – closing in some tight grooves and representing some Melbourne scene! Word.
It was Chris Turners' biggest hit ‘Liquid Love’ that had people slow jamming and grooving out in the crowd though. He managed to squeeze in some classic ‘call and reply’ of lines of the hit song too. A great end to his set!
Combining melodic improvisation and jazzy licks, Derrick Hodge (who was here earlier in the year with the Robert Glasper Experiment) hit up Melbourne once again - this time to showcase his own project. I’d say that most aspiring bass players in this generation are looking up to many different players right now, Derrick Hodge being one of those front runners. Derrick’s set at the Forum showed a softer side to his playing. There was lots of soloing, beautiful melodies and ballad-like tunes – he even threw in some vocals! A mellower set of music than some of his other projects, but nonetheless the soul of this 'solo' show was very present. Nostalgic and beautiful with all the tricks you expect from one of the worlds best. Was good to have him back again.
Was a really great night out getting to see more of the jazz-urban scene coming to life. It's these guys here that are shaping the tone and direction of jazz music today. And killing it....