Aside from the splendid, irresistibly infectious chemistry legendary tuba master Jim Self and guitarist John Chiodini create on their third dual album Hangin’ Out, the one can’t miss quirky takeaway everyone can enjoy is adding a new hip musical term to their vocabulary: FLUBA!
It’s an super low bass toned tuba sized flugelhorn that was designed and assembled by Robb Stewart upon a concept by Self, who plays it on three of the collection’s most engaging tracks that showcase the great variety of rhythmic possibilities of the horn/guitar combo – Chick Corea’s lively classic waltz “Spain,” a wildly funked out, discofied jam through Stevie Wonder’s always infectious “Sir Duke” and Cy Coleman’s “I Walk a Little Faster,” which kicks into swingin’, high struttin’ gear after a tender, lyrical flugelhorn intro section by guest artist Ron Stout.
That’s the other conceit that sets Hangin’ Out apart from Self and Chiodini’s first two duo projects – inviting their fellow musicians from The David Angel Ensemble to create dynamic trio excursions on several tunes, including the high spirited “Another Thing” (featuring the whimsical yet emotional sax flow of Tom Peterson’s silky tenor) and the smoky, sultry “Everything Happens to Me” (driven by David Angel’s soulful bari sax). Beyond the challenging originals like Self’s multi-movement (classical to jazz waltz and beyond) “Modal I Tease” and Chiodini’s bright and bouncy title track, the duo chooses a fascinating array of material to apply their uniquely textured sparkle to, from the Jobim classics “Dindi” and “Felicidade” to Freddie Hubbard’s “Up Jumped Spring” and Billy Joel’s “Just The Way You Are.
Both legends in their respective worlds – please look up their histories online – Self and Chiodini are so locked in that they got together even during the pandemic lockdown to organically develop the music that would evolve magnificently into a celebration of Hangin’ Out.