The Improvisation Quick Take: Hudson

Bob’s Note: This is the first in our new series of record reviews. We’re calling it The Improvisation Quick Take. While not necessarily a critical review (although we won’t be shy about telling you if we don’t like something) this will be more of the Downbeat approach. Painting with a broad stroke, as they say. We will separate our reviews into three categories: Recent Recordings, Archival Recordings, and Rare/Hard to Find Recordings. We’ll be joined in this endeavor by our good friend and music nerd, Bryan Postlethwait. Bryan has a record collection to end all record collections so we could be here a while. Anyway, here’s Bryan with is take on a Recent Release.

The Improvisation Quick Take

modestly informed impressions


Category: RECENT

Artist: Hudson.

Title: Hudson (2017) Motema Music.

Quick Take Rating: **** (4 out of 5 Stars)

Personnel Listing:

  • Jack DeJohnette: Drums and Vocals
  • John Scofield: Guitar
  • John Medeski: Piano and Organ
  • Larry Grenadier: Bass

Recorded in early January of 2017, Hudson is an organic spontaneous reflection of the vibrations and music rooted in the Hudson River Valley. An improvisational take, original compositions and covers of classic rock and folk music comprise the 11 tracks on the first recorded outing by what’s typically described as a “super group”. While the atmospheric instrumental interpretations of Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and The Band take on a new shine and focus through the craft of seasoned players, it’s the originals and jams which show the band’s essence. The chemistry of the musicians and the soul of the work emerge with sincere and casual brilliance. The sessions were recorded at a cabin in the woods. You get the feeling they were dancing in the kitchen between takes and the musical stew is still simmering. It’s rare super groups actually work. This project exceeds expectations.

(My personal choice for the record of Summer 2017. Long story.)


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