There was lots of hype around the release of Derrick Hodge’s debut album Live Today and for good reason: Hodge is not only an accomplished bassist, but he is part of the Robert Glasper Experiment who is seemingly everywhere these days (Black Radio is a must-listen for those who haven’t heard it yet). I was a little concerned that Live Today would be a retread of the ideas that are all over Black Radio (Glasper shows up quite a bit on the album), but after the opening track “The Real” those thoughts were quickly put to rest. The album is an exciting and equally adventurous affair, but in it’s own way – Hodge shows off his massive skills over a variety of styles (much like his work with the RGE, Hodge pays little attention to the boundaries of where jazz can go) including straight-up jazz, fusion and neo-soul to name a few. Even when he slows things down the album still grooves – the track “Solitude” with pianist Aaron Parks is one of the most impressive uses of the electric bass I’ve heard in modern jazz. Live Today shows us that Hodge is not only part of one of the best musical groups working today, but also has a strong voice of his own to share with the world. Stream “Message Of Hope” below and grab a copy of the record here. Highly recommended.