The multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer Derrick Hodge has released his second album on Blue Note called, well, “The Second”. This time around though, he has played all the instruments himself (almost all).
The Marcus Miller-like bass lines on the opening title track pave the way for this ultra-relaxed, somehow experimental, always entertaining set which is a combination of Derrick’s jazz skills, soul lines, r’n’b rhythms, and funk forays. Some of the tracks here are pretty groovy pieces which seem to start and end nowhere (“You Believed”), others have a decidedly rock-influenced stance (“Underground Rhapsody”) and feature drummer Mark Colenburg. There is also a world-music nod on “World Go Round”, another bass-heavy, irresistible groover.
There are also tunes which sound like they were heavily influenced by 80s keyboard sounds (“Clock Strike Zero”), and others are simply too short. For a change, there is the cute, southern-style sound of Keyon Harrold on trumpet, Marcus Strickland on tenor sax, and Corey King on trombone on “For Generations”. Gospel and blues seem to chime in on “Don Blue” (a nod to Blue Note president Don Was?) which turns into a hypnotic piece towards the end.
The reason why Derrick is in demand for people like Maxwell (he just ended a tour with the singer who also has a new record out, to be reviewed later) is “Going”, a jam-like tune which has a lot of raw r’n’b and soul elements in there.