Take Five With Chris Hodges

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Meet Chris Hodges : I began playing electric bass at the age of fourteen. I played rock, country, pop, etc. When I was seventeen, I bought Jaco's Jaco Pastorious (Epic, 1976) and absolutely became hooked on jazz. At age nineteen, I began to play upright because I had gotten into a lot of old jazz.

Instrument(s): Bass (electric and upright), piano, guitar.

Your sound and approach to music: I've struggled for a long time with writing music and trying to figure out what my sound is. I was living in Atlanta and had just finished a stint with a smooth jazz outfit when I hooked up with an amazing keyboardist. He showed me a side to jazz that I had never really known about. This kind of jazz (mostly tonal with odd time signatures - even juxtaposed time signatures and instrumentations) blew me away. I started writing this kind of stuff and it was so natural to me.

I basically take an idea (when I'm writing) and do something that I know makes it unique. I like there to be some aspect of my performance or composition that nobody expects. Maybe random syncopated accented notes in a solo or an eleven-bar phrase in a composition. It's not as spontaneous as free jazz or anything but it keeps a groove while keeping you awake.

CDs you are listening to now: Eddie Vedder, Into The Wild (Soundtrack); Ben Allison, Cowboy Justice (Palmetto); Christian Scott, Anthem; Avishai Cohen, Adama.

Desert Island picks: Dave Brubeck, Take Five (Columbia); Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Left of Cool (Columbia); Ben Harper, Will To Live; Bill Evans, I Will Say Goodbye; Pearl Jam, Greatest Hits.

What is in the near future? I have a recording session coming up that is the second attempt to record a solo album. I have a slightly different perspective on the material, and will (hopefully) not be as rushed as I was last time.

I will be on a local morning show in November, promoting a festival I will be performing at.

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