You don't have to look far to find jazz bass players who specialize in one particular style or genre. There are very few, however, who double on upright and electric, can solo fluently on both instruments and can swing convincingly?probably the most elusive goal of so-called doublers. Seattle-based bassist Chuck Deardorf is one such elite performer. Transparence
is a vibrant showcase, displaying the veteran sideman in a multitude of supportive and lead roles, playing mostly upright with splashes of lyrical fretless electric.
While much of the disc features Deardorf accompanying top-notch guitarists such as Bruce Forman ("Alone Together," "Sweet Lorraine") and Rick Peckham ("Zingaro"), it is the handful of tunes featuring pianist Bill Mays that bring out the bassist's expressive side. From the high-flying quartet opener "Collage," to the intimate duo of "Moon and Sand," Deardorf gels effortlessly with Mays' spacious, unhurried approach.
An electrifying rendition of The Beatles' "Dear Prudence" finds Deardorf and guitarist Dave Peterson in high-energy rock mode with simmering Jaco-esque fretless runs. Upper-register electric soloing breathes life into Deardorf's own fusion-style composition "Creatinine," with the impressive Richard Cole on tenor saxophone.
More than a mere business card for what Deardorf can bring to a musical situation, Transparence is a celebration of collaboration between musicians capable of side-stepping artificial labels.