All's fair in love and jazz: B.C. bassist Jen Hodge to release new album

B.C. bassist Jen Hodge shares her inspiration for her new album, All's Fair in Love and Jazz.

Hodge played her first paid show when she was 15 years old

Jen Hodge first fell in love with music when she heard The Beatles at age 11. (Peter Sinclair)

B.C. singer and bassist Jen Hodge is known for her prohibition-era music with a modern twist. Her new album, All's Fair in Love and Jazz, will be released Feb. 25.

Hodge first fell in love with music when she was growing up in Courtenay B.C. Now she travels all over the continent to play bass and sing at various jazz festivals.

She's a founding member of theCompany B Jazz Band, and a member of the musical group Blackstick.

During a conversation on CBC's Hot Air, Hodge explained the title of her album comes from a phrase she coined during a music rehearsal party. 

From party phrase to album name

"There was a jam party this night that most of us went to," said Hodge, laughing.

Someone at the party posted the quote, "All is Fair in Love and Jazz," on Facebook and attributed it to Hodge.

She thought the phrase had a ring of truth to it when describing jazz music, but also life.

"This philosophy that music and life and everything is kind of the same thing."

Hodge's musical sound echoes that sentiment. On her new album, she is accompanied by her band, The Jen Hodge All-Stars. 

Jazz renaissance 

Hodge said traditional jazz is currently going through something of a renaissance. She said there are more traditional jazz events happening all the time, which wasn't the case when she was growing up in B.C.

"I've been playing traditional jazz since I was a teenager and it was definitely not very cool when I got into it," said Hodge.

"But it's timeless music."

Hodge was 11 years old when she first heard The Beatles, and she was enamoured with the energy and spirit of the music. Hodge was enrolled in band class at the time and was instructed to select an instrument.

She wasn't able to choose her first choice, guitar, but she was allowed play electric bass.

Landed paid gig at 15

After only a few years, she landed her first paid gig at the age of 15.

"We started getting little local festival gigs around that time."

Because she could play the electric bass, Hodge was approached by extra-curricular music groups to lend her talents to the upright bass, or double bass.

Once she mastered that instrument, she moved from rock and roll to jazz. She felt she didn't have the skill to move into classical music, and jazz felt like the right fit.

Hodge often gets her inspiration from original jazz recordings and has made a career out of making the old songs new in her own way.

With files from Hot Air