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Hudson Raises The Roof

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Monday June 26, 2017

From Ottawa Citizen

Jazzfest review: Hudson raised the NAC Theatre’s roof with its jazz-rock
By: Peter Hum

In a set of concerts that’s been dubbed the Jazz Warriors series, there can only be one Braveheart. That most ferocious of musicians was drummer Jack DeJohnette, flailing, grooving and even singing at his kit on Saturday night when the 74-year-old led the charge of the jazz supergroup Hudson.

The band also included guitarist John Scofield, keyboardist John Medeski and bassist Larry Grenadier, who like DeJohnette are world-class jazz musicians who happen to call New York’s Hudson River Valley home.

The band’s playing history has so far been limited — its first gig was in 2014 at its “neighbourhood” jazz festival in Woodstock, and in Ottawa, it was just four shows into its first big summer tour, following the release of its debut disc.

But in the packed NAC Theatre, the band hit hard during a long, extended set that offered vintage Woodstock-era rock songs played with a mix of earthy grooves and jazz liberation, a protracted Bitches Brew-style jam, and two mightily swinging originals by Scofield.

Here’s the set list:

We Gotta Wait Till Tomorrow (Jimi Hendrix)
Hudson
El Swing (John Scofield)
Castles Made of Sand (Jimi Hendrix)
Cripple Creek (Robbie Robertson)
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall (Bob Dylan)
Dirty Ground (Bruce Hornsby)
Tony Then Jack (John Scofield)

Encore:
Woodstock (Joni Mitchell)

Hudson is a band with four big music personalities that clicked so strongly on the distinctive, but in hindsight obviously well-suited, material that I could only think, “What took them so long to get together?”

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