The Jim Self / John Chiodini Duo – Hangin’ Out (2022)

The Jim Self / John Chiodini Duo - Hangin' Out (2022)
Artist: The Jim Self / John Chiodini Duo
Album: Hangin’ Out
Label: Basset Hound Records
Year Of Release: 2022
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Tracklist:
1. Hangin’ Out – 03:48
2. Spain – 05:31
3. Lydian Afternoon (feat. Scott Whitfield) – 04:58
4. Dindi – 05:38
5. Sir Duke – 04:43
6. Another Thing (feat. Tom Peterson) – 05:44
7. Felicidade – 05:05
8. Everything Happens to Me (feat. David Angel) – 06:44
9. Up Jumped Spring – 05:35
10. I Walk a Little Faster (feat. Ron Stout) – 05:30
11. Modal I Tease – 06:18
12. Just the Way You Are – 05:14
13. It Could Happen to You (feat. Scott Whitfield, Tom Peterson, Ron Stout, David Angel) – 04:11

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Not for the first time and with constant pleasure I comment on the work of the duet of Jim Self and John Ciodini. Much has been said about them in previous reviews. There is no point in repeating, so I will only briefly remind you: a very unusual and rare duet in terms of composition of instruments: tuba and guitar. At the same time, I continue to consider Jim Self the best (since the death of Howard Johnson) tuba player of modern jazz. He plays not only tubas, but also a fluba instrument specially designed for him – a kind of flugelhorn swollen to the size of a tuba. The musicians record on the Basset Hound Music label founded by Self: it is named after the beloved and already departed dog Jim, and at the end of any of their albums (including the current one), the once recorded barking of that dog sounds.

The new Hangin’ Out album is somewhat different from the duo’s previous projects. The musicians worked on it during the pandemic, and for the first time on several tracks, the guests of the project join them, turning the duet into a trio, and in the final piece, It Could Happen to You, even into a powerful brass sextet with a guitar. Among the guests of the project was the person in whose ensemble they once met – saxophonist David Engel. Well, why Self likes to work with Ciodini and how this album was born, Jim eloquently says himself: “I do not feel so comfortable with any other musical partner. When John is playing, you don’t need the rest of the rhythm section anymore. Even during the lockdown, we continued to meet and play. We didn’t let even a fatal disaster stop our drive to make music. The concept for this album grew out of those pandemic jam sessions.”

The result was a rather voluminous (almost seventy minutes of sound) and very diverse in style album with well-known standards, compositions by Jim, John and their guests. There are things reminiscent of the old swing (Chiodini’s title Hangin’ Out, composed especially for Self) and even Dixieland jazz (the final track, where everyone, including the guests, takes turns soloing). There is a typical mainstream such as Whitfield’s Lydian Afternoon or Freddie Hubbard’s Up Jumped Spring. There is a soul-funk version of Stevie Wonder’s Sir Duke. But this time the “Latin” pieces made a particularly strong impression: the wonderful version of Spain by Chick Corea (the sound of a heavy low-voiced tuba flutters here like a moth) and the Brazilian bossa nova and samba from Jobim – the famous Dindi and Felicidade. I think that here everyone will find music to their liking and everyone will be amazed at the skill of Jim Self and his old faithful friend John Ciodini.

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