Hangin' Out is the third album by the unlikely duo of Jim Self on tuba and John Chiodini on guitar. This time around, they hang out on five of the thirteen numbers with special gueststrombonist Scott Whitfield, tenor saxophonist Tom Peterson, baritone saxophonist David Angel and flugelhorn player Ron Stout, each of whom has a feature number before joining the leaders for a full-fledged jam on the lyrical finale, Johnny Burke/Jimmy Van Heusen's enduring standard, "It Could Happen to You," taken at a breezy tempo that suits everyone well.
To add more variety, Self plays the flubabasically a tuba-sized flugelhornon five tracks, Chiodini classical (acoustic) guitar on two: Chick Corea's "Spain" and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Dindi." Angel's appearance (on Matt Dennis/Tom Adair's plaintive ballad, "Everything Happens to Me") is especially pleasing, as the legendary West Coast bandleader seldom performs on albums, his or anyone else's, and he is a remarkably engaging player. And that is not to say that Whitfield (on his "Lydian Afternoon"), Peterson (his "Another Thing") or Stout (Cy Coleman's "I Walk a Little Faster") are anything less than that.
As for Self and Chiodini, who have eight numbers to themselves, they blend about as well as a tuba (or fluba) and guitar possibly could. Self surmounts the tuba's limited range to fashion several gruff yet effective solos, while Chiodini comps with assurance and solos impressively in every framework. Chiodini wrote the opening swinger, "Hangin' Out," Self the elaborate jazz waltz, "Modal 1 Tease." Completing the program are Jobim's "Felicidade," Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke," Freddie Hubbard's "Up Jumped Spring" and Billy Joel's pop hit, "Just the Way You Are."
Anyone who can make a tuba and guitar duo interestingeven with occasional helpdeserves a suitable commendation. In this case, it is four stars for an improbable pairing that works surprisingly well thanks to superb musicianship and a readiness to share the spotlight with talented companions.
Hangin’ Out; Spain; Lydian Afternoon; Dindi; Sir Duke; Another Thing; Felicidade; Everything
Happens to Me; Up Jumped Spring; I Walk a Little Faster; Modal 1 Tease; Just the Way You
Are; It Could Happen to You.
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