David Hughes | Hopeful Romantic

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Jazz: Jazz Fusion Jazz: Jazz-Funk Moods: Featuring Bass
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Hopeful Romantic

by David Hughes

Frsh, groovy, funky jazz form an album with plenty of heart.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Yaburi-toro
5:58 $0.99
2. Blauer Berg
9:05 $0.99
3. Dave's Song
4:27 $0.99
4. Dinner With Friends
6:37 $0.99
5. Juan's Song
4:53 $0.99
6. Easyphunk Too
6:42 $0.99
7. Room With A View
7:02 $0.99
8. Kiyomi Kawaii
5:26 $0.99
9. Hopeful Romantic
5:51 $0.99
10. Bittersweet
7:15 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
With Hopeful Romantic David Hughes makes a powerful statement as a composer and as a musician. Listeners with many different tastes will enjoy this album.

The writing spans funky, retro inspired jazz-funk to semi-symphonic modern jazz and features Hughes' signature sound and melodic touch on the bass. With rich arrangements the album exhibits an organic, natural quality far from the synthetic, loop-based mashups that are commonplace in contemporary jazz today.

The album features:

Jamey Tate - drums
Michael Bluestein - piano
Nate Tschetter - rhodes
Koichi Yabori - guitar
Kiyomi Otaka - hammond organ, rhodes
John Depatie - guitar
Andrew Synowiec - nylon string guitar
Jenny Olson - flute and piccolo
Makoto Izumitani - drums
David Hughes - bass guitar, acoustic bass, guitars, piano, keyboards, vocal, percussion, melodica

About the tracks:

1. Yaburi-toro

Japan and Tokyo in particular has a special place in Hughes' heart. One one of his trips there he made friends with virtuoso guitarist Koichi Yabori. This led to collaborations and a tour in Japan and Hughes' guest appearance on Yabori's album Bloomfield, which also featured Gary Novak and Robben Ford. In Hughes' mind this tune called exactly for Yabori's fluid guitar playing and distinct sound.

Aburi-toro is a sushi dish Hughes discovered in Roppongi; it consists of toro, fatty tuna, that has been briefly broiled with a blowtorch and lightly seasoned. It is truly delicious but seems impossible to come by stateside. The song title reflects two of the best things Tokyo has to offer.

2. Blauer Berg

True to his habit of titling compositions after the musicians Hughes had in mind when he wrote them, this tune features pianist Michael Bluestein of supergroup Foreigner. Blending elements from Weather Report and Keith Jarrett the result is an almost epic composition that offers some beautiful fretless playing by Hughes and explosive improvisation by Bluestein. The addition of flute and piccolo augments the symphonic character of the arrangement and vibraphone creates a lush spacious feel. When recording a project for the Budman-Levy Jazz Orchestra Hughes encountered the use of melodica, and decided to use it for the melody on this tune instead of the originally planned harmonica. Towards the end, listen for the 'Upright Bass Congas' played by Hughes by tapping the body of his acoustic bass.

3. Dave's Song

Written together with longtime friend, collaborator and guitarist John Depatie, this tune took shape at one of the duo's late night writing sessions. The idea was to write a tune with strong groove and a melody with a memorable hook. Makoto Izumitani laid down the drums at his studio and Hughes added hand claps for a retro vibe. Nate Tschetter recorded some tasty rhodes in Nashville and sent the track through the tubes of the internets.

4. DInner With Friends

Imagine a candlelit table, a nice bottle of wine and a few of your best friends. That is the image Hughes had in mind when he wrote this piece. Playing the melody on his six-string F Bass made by Canadian luthier George Furlanetto, Hughes mix treatment gives it an almost nylon string guitar quality. Although the instrument was originally designed for support in the lower register, rolling off some of the lowest frequencies and adding a touch of stereo delay, together with the expanded range gives it a resonant and expressive voice.

5. Juan's Song

This piece is yet another collaboration with John Depatie and uses the same concept as Dave's song. Hughes actually suggested the tile 'John's song' but since he is a model of modesty, John offered an alternative title...

6. Easyphunk Too

The song title alludes to the piece 'Easyphunk' on Hughes previous album, Cruising along. Andrew Synowiec recorded the nylon string guitar at his Burbank studio. For some 70's vibes, Hughes played his Squier Precision bass with flatwound strings and a pick. A little amp distortion and some Bootsy style wah completed the sound. The B-section has a bar of disco groove thrown in, tongue-in cheek.

7. Room With a View

The idea for the harmonic strumming guitar riff that starts the song came when Hughes was looking out his studio window one day. The beauty of nature and vistas has always been a great source of inspiration for Hughes who treasures trips to national parks and the Southern California mountains.

The bass part was played on a 1969 Fender Jazz Bass, which although it looks like it's been through a couple of wars, posesses a sound that money (almost) can't buy. The melody was played on the six-string F Bass. Hughes has been exploring the creative possibilities that multitracking offers and added a vocal part and a whistling part for the choruses.

8. Kiyomi Kawaii

This is the first composition by Hughes using an odd time signature, 7/8, to a greater extent. One of Hughes japanese friends, Kiyomi Otaka, is a virtuoso Hammond Organ player and her own music is frequently written in odd time. It only seemed natural to ask her to play on the tune.

The low bass part was played on the '69 Fender and harmonics create a synth pad-like harmonic background. The melody was played on a recently acquired fretless Fender bass with a touch of envelope filter and octaver added to give it a unique sound.

9. Hopeful Romantic

A normal bass has four strings and if you ever wondered what the extra two strings on a six-string bass where for, here is your answer; playing chords and melody on the bass guitar. Hughes added arco acoustic bass and piano to complete the arrangement. As always, Jamey Tate provides tasteful drumming.

You often hear the expression 'hopeless romantic'. Hughes felt that sounds a bit negative, better to be a hopeful romantic.

Who knows what the tide will bring or what's on the other side of the hill...

10. Bittersweet

This composition features pianist Michael Bluestein and Hughes on fretless bass guitar. Jenny Olson's flue and piccolo together with the string arrangement and arco acoustic bass add to the symphonic sound. Drummer Jamey Tate's instructions were to play a hip-hop inspired, irregular part and he manages that while infusing jazz-like sensibilities. Listen for the 'bitter' verses and 'sweet' choruses.



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Nice CD!
Great sound, nice grooves, tasty compositions .... very musical album!

Magnus Bleckert

A treat for Sunday mornings
"Hopeful Romantic" is the record you put on an early, sunny Sunday morning when you make your breakfast and open the newspaper. Smooth, uplifting, but yet surprisingly challenging at times. A soundtrack for good times!