CD Review Tim Ferguson Inside/Out “Hold That Thought!” Jazz Squared

jazz squaredBassist from New York Tim Ferguson – an accomplished musician which repeatedly toured with Don Friedman, Valery Ponomarev, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and other well-known musicians and bands. His creative activity,is many sided, not only as sideman, but also as a leader or co-founder of a number of projects. He works closely with guitarist Tom Dempsey as a duo and quartet, is involved in a trio Stevens, Siegel & Ferguson, and in addition, he teaches, writes books, and so on, Tim Ferguson Inside / Out – is one of his many projects.

In the handwritten liner notes to the album Hold That Thought! Tim reveals the history of the project itself, and this album. One day, without any specific plans, just based on their mutual interests and common views on jazz and improvised music, Ferguson, pianist Diane Moser and trumpeter Rob Henke gathered to play together. In the long term, it was assumed that perhaps this session would be the core of a future project involving a drummer and another wind instrument player. But, to the extent that, as music evolved, it became clear that to all three, that in fact, they do not need anyone, they “hear” each other perfectly, and this joint project has good prospects. Thus the group was born; Tim Ferguson Inside / Out – an unusual trio, with piano, trumpet/alto horn and double bass. In late July 2010, they played a concert in one of the halls of Clifton, New Jersey. The next day, they repeated the same program in a studio with engineer Tom Tedesco and, after some mixing and mastering, the record album “Hold That Thought!” was ready.

The album consists of pre-composed and improvised music, and Tim hopes that it will be hard for the listener to distinguish the difference. Well, if you ask me, Tim Ferguson was right, only “Trumpet Bass Segue” I was able to “identify” the improvisational duo of trumpet and bass. Perhaps someone more sophisticated, would be “luckier” in this issue. In general, the recording is framed by two cover songs. The album opens with the composition “Silence” by Charlie Haden, and ends with the composition “You”, by Mal Waldron. It is not hard to guess that the bassist Haden and pianist Waldron are among the favorites of bassist Ferguson and pianist Moser respectively. Diane also brought in her own composition “One For Mal”, devoted to the same master of jazz piano.

For the author of these lines, “One For Mal” became a favorite song on the album. Dialogue pipes and bass in the introduction, clearly blues-based composition as a whole and a great interaction between all three musicians subsequently left a very strong impression. By the way, about the interaction. Listening to “Hold That Thought!” I did not really notice the absence of a drummer. Moser and Ferguson did an excellent job with the rhythmic side of tracks at the same time being full partners while Rob Henke solos. Sometimes, as in the “Un Bel Lago”, Tim Ferguson played with a bow, giving the overall sound a special elegance. The style of the album as a whole is kind of “fuzzy”: the musicians do not focus on a particular style of jazz – it is safe to say that it is not Dixieland or avant-garde free jazz, but all the rest, from swing to bop idioms in music are there in T”im Ferguson’s Inside / Out”, making the album potentially interesting for the widest range of jazz fans.
[note:This is a translation from a Russian text, I have added a few words here and there to smooth the translation. Many thanks to Maria Moehrke for her help in translating! My apologies to Leonid Auskern if I have mistaken his intent, D.M.]

Leonid Auskern 28.09.2014