Review: Derrick Hodge "Live Today"

This multi-layered debut burns with quiet intensity and a soulful, mature mix of modern R&B and jazz flavors.
By E.E. Bradman ,

This multi-layered debut burns with quiet intensity and a soulful, mature mix of modern R&B and jazz flavors. Derrick Hodge, perhaps best known for nimbly anchoring the Robert Glasper Experiment, is also a tasteful composer, producer, and arranger who orchestrates ace performances from a diverse cast that includes rapper Common, his Experiment bandmates, rising horn stars Marcus Strickland and Keyon Herrold, veteran producer/keyboardist James Poyser, and the American String Quartet. Fans of Hodge’s work with Glasper will find plenty to love here, but Live Today also alludes to his gospel and marching-band backgrounds, as well as the influence of mentors Terence Blanchard and Mulgrew Miller. Highly recommended.