Eric Hofbauer Jazz Guitarist / Composer / Educator

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One From The Vault: Part 1

Every once and a while it is fun to dig into my library of recorded material, brush off the dust of a track or two and take a listen. I have tons of ‘never-been-released’ material that is ‘in the can’ (record label jargon for a finished product sitting on the shelf waiting to be released) and live recordings. For my weekly post this time around I wanted to start up the first installment of my own ‘One From The Vault’ series. The inaugural track is from a 2006 recording I made with my good friend Scott Barnum on bass. It is a duo session that features several improvisations along side some off the beaten path covers, including Dolphy’s ‘Out To Lunch’, Williamson’s ‘Good Morning Little School Girl’ and Monk’s ‘Little Rootie Tootie’. The album is entitled ‘The Cause’ and the track I am featuring is the Spencer Williams composition ‘Mahogany Hall Stomp’. Our version is inspired by the 1929 Louis Armstrong version. I spent quite a bit of time translating Armstrong’s articulation and phrasing (use of dynamics, scoops, vibrato, slides etc) to the guitar and then folding those concepts into my own playing style. It was a wonderful lesson in the use of space, use of timbre and most of all, swing. I am very happy with the result, the piece is both an homage to the father of the swing vocabulary, and a vehicle for exploring and fusing swing era traditions with a modern take on harmony, pulse and rhythm.

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