Bassist, composer, and producer Derrick Hodge has released “Heartbeats,” the stunningly beautiful 2nd song to be revealed from his forthcoming album Color of Noize, which will be released June 26th on Blue Note Records. Color of Noize is the band, the concept, and the album, and the project reflects a melting pot of influence and experience with jazz flow, hip-hop groove, soulful depth, spiritual uplift, and creative fire. “Heartbeats” follows the album’s lead single “Not Right Now.”
This album also includes a few firsts. It’s the first Hodge record to use a live band throughout, a brand new line-up featuring Jahari Stampley and Michael Aaberg on keyboards, Mike Mitchell and Justin Tyson on drums, and DJ Jahi Sundance on turntables, with Hodge supplying bass, keys, guitar, and voice. It was that band’s first time playing together, and their first time hearing the songs Hodge wrote for their session. It was also Hodge’s first time bringing in a co-producer: Blue Note president Don Was.
The heart of the Color of Noize concept is an intentionally broad thing meant to embrace the fluidity of sound and inspire a sense of collective ownership over that sound’s development and interpretation. “It's an idea I feel is really relevant to our time,” Hodge says. “A new artistic heartbeat that's about acceptance. It all relates to the spirit of now, not overly thinking, and moving forward.”
In addition to his two prior Blue Note albums — 2013’s guest-packed Live Today to 2016’s almost entirely solo The Second — Hodge been a go-to collaborator for Robert Glasper, Maxwell, Terence Blanchard, and Common alike — and played on GRAMMY-winning albums by all four. He’s helped shape striking sounds in producing albums by Blue Note labelmates Kendrick Scott and James Francies, and teamed with Quincy Jones to co-produce an album by Justin Kauflin on Jones’ label Qwest. He’s brought subtly subversive concepts to world-class orchestras in Atlanta, Chicago, and D.C., and new ideas to the Monterey Jazz Festival as a 2019 artist-in-residence. R+R=NOW featuring Hodge, Glasper, Tyson, Christian Scott, Terrace Martin, and Taylor McFerrin is only the most recent supergroup he’s co-founded.
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