Hudson on HudsonThe Hudson on Hudson
Hüdson Album Review
Percussionist Jack DeJohnette has been in the avant-garde of music for five years. In the last hundred years he assisted Miles Davis on his merger trips, conducted a string of meetings for the ECM brand and later joined his colleague Herbie Hancock. Over the past few years, DeJohnette has developed this heritage with a number of works that have been remarkably varied even for someone with an ecclectic success story.
DeJohnette called in a group of avant-garde seniors in 2013, among them Henry Threadgill and Roscoe Mitchell for the glowing Made in Chicago stage line. He then joined forces with Ravi Coltrane and Matthew Garrison for In Movement, an record that for a while dealt with the past of music without pushing things forward.
A new DeJohnette company is coming up: the collaborating group Hudson. As the line-up comprises the famous jazzgitarist John Scofield, the keyboarder John Medeski and the multifaceted bass player Larry Grenadier, Hudson is called a "super group". Getting this near the texture of Davis' Bitches Brew may be awkward for most groups, but Hudson pays tribute - and not only because DeJohnette was playing on this historic mantra.
In the end the guitar player picks spooky overtones with just the right amount of power and fuses with the drummer's soft but crunchy beats. Some of his most original works are filmed on two Dylan covers: The guitar player gives "Lay Lady Lay" a happy mood, while "A Harr Rain's A-Gonna Fall" is the inspiration for a harmoniously adventuresome solos.
However, as a group Hudson reaches an interpretative climax with "Hard Rain". Since Bitches Brew was (approximately) part of the same instant, another new track - Scofield's "Tony Then Jack" - refers to the line of Davis' percussionists (especially Tony Williams, who was led by DeJohnette in the wake of the trumpeter). It is not the most passionate piece DeJohnette has played in his eight year.
However, the peaceful championship that passes through Hudson has the difference of making you feel good without being too foreseeable.