Profile: Chuck Deardorf

A Mirror and Focus for the Jazz Community
May 2011, Vol. 27, No. 05
Seattle, Washington

Chuck Deardorf perches on a stool at the back of the stage, the best view of the audience. This vantage point is ideal for a bass player’s role as harmonic backbone and center of gravity for the groove. The club’s wooden stage amplifies low notes. Where inexperienced bassists would produce unfocused booms, Deardorf’s tone is even and clear over the entire neck of his German acoustic bass, built in the late 1800s. His fingers crawl over the strings like a spider. Quick solo phrases end on a brief sustained note with a touch of vibrato. His sound is refined, precise, fluid – reminiscent of ECM recordings from the late 1970s.

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Todd DelGiudice

Originally published in Earshot Jazz, April 2011, Vol. 27, No. 04

Imagine playing saxophone with Charlie Parker’s trumpet player. Todd DelGiudice (rhymes with Judas) doesn’t have to imagine, it’s part of history. Red Rodney hired him in 1993 for several gigs when he was only a junior at the University of Miami. Todd played so well he was invited join the band after graduation. “It was awesome,” says Todd. “Red sounded beautiful. I was living the dream.” Unfortunately, his degree came after Rodney’s death and the hopeful plans evaporated.