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Rodney Jordan: Conversations

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Rodney Jordan: Conversations
Yes, Hildegard von Bingen is a thing, and for many musicians, especially singers, a serious icon. Yes, you can tune a bass to A=432hz. Until the mid-nineteenth century, standard tuning on a bass was 430-435. Verdi apparently loved 432 because he said it resonated within the golden ratio, or a professional bassist informs "something like that." It goes back to the whole music of the spheres, but Baroque groups and early music ensembles will play other composers, including Beethoven in 432 these days." Ok. You listen to jazz, and you learn things.

You may have never expected to see Mike Longo and Hildegard von Bingen juxtaposed, but "Just for You" and "DeSpiritu #2" do indeed grace this very unusual, and very lovely recording. Bass players will, of course, have listened to solo bass recordings, or even collections of bassists. They may be more common in the classical repertoire, but do recall that Edgar Meyer, among other string luminaries, has recorded "The Goat Rodeo Sessions." If you have never heard "Body and Soul" and "My One and Only Love" done this way, you are in for a treat. "My One and Only Love" does not wander far from the melody until the end, but it is simply gorgeous.

Sometimes people think bassist are supposed to be rough and loud. Indeed, some are, even classical bassists. Not everyone will care for the sound that Jordan and Fabian extract from the bass, but this ultimately a matter of taste. Virtually the entire recording is done pizzicato, although "432" and "Happy to Be Alive," and "Conversations #1" employ arco as well. "432" uses bird calls over a sustained concert E. The improvised lines are, of course, hornlike, but none of them get too far out of hand, an abundance of bass chops notwithstanding. Both Jordan and Fabian are advertised as primarily jazz bassists, which seems fair enough. But there is an awful lot of genre crossing these days, of which these guys are good examples. They play beautifully and if the idea is to swing soulfully and spiritually as well, Jordan and Fabian do. With any luck, they will get the wider audience they deserve for this creative, enjoyable, and occasionally sly outing as well. Is that "Amazing Grace" peeking through? The entire session goes by far too quickly.

A very, very good job.

Track Listing

Just For You; Happy To Be Alive; My One and Only Love; Robin's Theme; The Ride Over; Body and Soul; Conversations #4; The Kind Giant; Despiritu #2; Despiritu #4; 432; Conversations #1.

Personnel

Rodney Jordan: bass; Christian Fabian: bass, electric.

Album information

Title: Conversations | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Spice Rack Records

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