Sunday, November 5, 2023

Jim Dedrick: “Findings” (2022) CD Review

Jim Dedrick is a double bass player and composer. On his 2022 release Findings, he is joined by pianist Tom Reyes and drummer Chuck Ferrell. The music on this album is all original compositions, with plenty of improvisation, creating space for both exploration and reflection. The tracks were recorded with all three musicians in the same room, and mostly the first takes were chosen for release.

The album’s first track “Kelly,” opens with some pretty work on piano. There is a gentle beauty to this piece, and there is warmth. Yet there is also some energy. It is soothing but not sedate. I love those moments when the bass and drums have more freedom, and the way the track builds to those moments. It fades out at the end, but feels like it might have more to say. That’s followed by “Lugubrious.” The bass sets this one in motion. There is a loose feel to this track, reflecting that sense of being at a loss, unsure of how to deal with what life has thrown one’s way. The piano takes us in some warm places, but below that is the sense things could change course at any moment. The bass then does lead us in a somewhat different direction, with nice accents on piano. Here there is a feeling of curiosity, of uncertainty.

“Spontaneous Blues” has a livelier vibe from the start. This one was co-written by Tom Reyes, and it too has a loose feel, and features some delicious work by all three musicians. I am especially drawn to the drums on this track. The rhythm is at the heart of it for me. I also love the way it builds at certain points; there is an excitement to the playing, the musicians seeming as happy as we are to see where it will take them. That bass lead in the track’s second half is seriously cool, and it is followed by some powerful, wild work on drums. Jim Dedrick takes us to a darker place with “Tension,” and right away we feel the tension of the track’s title. The piano takes our steps for us, the anxiety felt in each one, but we are unable to stop, to turn around, because there is curiosity here too. Where are we being led? When we do arrive at the destination, there is some sense of unease, but we soon come to terms with our surroundings, and things shift. Perhaps there is more control now, the motion is more decisive, though the tension remains. As the track concludes, it relaxes.

“Bullfrog Burp” is delightful, with a groovy movement, a rhythm that will get you smiling, and piano work that is confident and cool, so sure of itself. The bass lead is a big part of this track’s immense appeal. That’s followed by another highlight, “Demon,” which begins with the bass and moves at an interesting pace, sometimes sneaking in among us, then ready to pounce, until we realize we are in its lair, rather than it being in ours. And that presence remains, even as we enter a calmer place. The album then concludes with “Rough Waters,” which opens with some excellent work on bass. This is another exciting, lively number. I love how these musicians create vivid, striking landscapes and situations, music that takes us places, even into danger, as it does here. Plus, this track includes a great and expressive drum solo, making it another of the disc’s highlights.

CD Track List

  1. Kelly
  2. Lugubrious
  3. Spontaneous Blues
  4. Tension
  5. Bullfrog Burp
  6. Demon
  7. Rough Waters

Findings was released on October 7, 2022.

No comments:

Post a Comment