Bassist and vocalist Jim Ferguson was the guest artist for the Saturday, November 7 TJBS Session at Steinway. Jim, a Nashville resident since 1981, has had a long and distinguished recording and performing career and has appeared with many of the greats in jazz and popular music.
Host and interviewer for the session was guitarist Lindsey Miller. Providing the accompaniment were pianist Joe Davidian and drummer Josh Hunt.
As with other programs in the series, the audience enjoyed a relaxed exploration of the Jim’s musical development and career, interspersed with music from Jim and the rhythm section. The program consisted almost exclusively of ballads, with Ferguson singing and providing bass accompaniment. Leading off with These Foolish Things and closing with Old Folks, Jim offered insights along the way into his teaching style and his preference for ballads. Unlike some vocalists who also accompany themselves, Jim considers his vocals and bass playing to be inseparable. Davidian and Hunt offered a tasteful complement throughout to Jim’s lyrical vocals and bass work. The interview was expertly guided by Miller, a North Texas graduate and relative newcomer to Nashville, who is rapidly making a name for herself in jazz circles. To close the afternoon she joined the band on guitar to perform a swinging version of “Mean To Me.”
Making everything sound good were audio engineers Lauren Vessio and Steve Stokes, who also recorded video for this performance.
After a holiday break the series will continue 2016, starting up again in March. Stay tuned for the next year’s lineup, and for more podcasts of previous programs.
ABOUT JIM FERGUSON
Jim Ferguson has had a long and varied career. A Nashville resident since receiving a Master of Jazz Studies degree from the University of South Carolina in 1981, he interrupted his academic studies a number times for doses or real-world experience. These included a stint with the New Christy Minstrels and times in New York, where his mentors included bassists Chuck Israels and Michael Moore. Since Jim’s move to Nashville, the list of artists with whom he’s played or recorded is too long to detail, but for starters includes Teddy Wilson, Mose Alison, Phineas Newborn, Jr., Jimmy Raney, Martin Taylor, and Marion McPartland. In 1990 Jim began touring and recording with singer Crystal Gayle, working as singer, vocal arranger, and bassist.
Jim’s recording projects include two CD’s as a leader, Deep Summer Music and Not Just Another Pretty Bass, as well as a duo project, Haunted Heart, with guitarist Mundell Lowe. Jim’s music style is distinctive for the deep sonority and lyricism of his bass playing, and his relaxed tenor vocals.
For more information about Jim and links to purchase his CD’s, visit www.jimfergusonmusic.com
Sessions at Steinway is modeled after the award-winning series Inside the Actors’s Studio, and was conceived by saxophonist and TJBS Vice-President, Rahsaan Barber. It offers audiences the rare chance to hear unique and personal accounts of life both on and away from the stage. The “sessions” will include short performances and a Q&A segment for audience interaction.