What's Going On?, the duo CD from guitarist Tom Dempsey and bassist Tim Ferguson, is a winning combination of standards and originals in a most intimate setting. The pair has played together for almost two decades and this is evident by the intuitive way they support each other throughout the album.
The duo chose an eclectic mix of tunes for the CD: "Interface," a great soloing vehicle by Hank Jones; the grooving classic Marvin Gaye title track and a slew of standards like "Isfahan," "Stardust and "Soul Eyes." Dempsey and Ferguson contribute some originals as well; on the former's "Tandem," the guitar solo is simultaneously bluesy and swinging and on the latter's "Julie's Tabouleh," both players have fun with the boppy composition.
There is a long history to the guitar and bass duet. In this lineage, Ferguson's bass playing---warm and soulful and with keen melodic and rhythmic expertise---is the perfect counterpoint and support for Dempsey. Dempsey's playing recalls the great Jim Hall, himself no stranger to this format, but still retains his own unique style. What's Going On? This album, for sure.
Track Listing: Interface; What's Going On; Deep River; Isfahan; Nascimento; Tandem; First Song (For Ruth); As Spring Begins; Julie's Tabouleh; Stardust; Three And One; Soul Eyes.
Personnel: Tom Dempsey: guitar: Tim Ferguson: bass.
I was first exposed to jazz as a child in Boston and at a Sun Ra concert.
I met Jaco Pastorius as a teenager in NYC.
The best show I ever attended was The Gap Band.
The first jazz record I bought was Heavy Weather.