The Guardian Reviews Hudson

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Friday July 07, 2017

From The Guardian

DeJohnette/Grenadier/Medeski/Scofield: Hudson review – a new jazz supergroup
By: John Fordham

All four members of this new contemporary jazz supergroup live in the Hudson Valley in New York, and the musical history of the area – from Native American culture to folk-rock and Woodstock – has inspired this unusual update on the 1970s liaisons of jazz, rock and world music. Guitarist John Scofield, drummer Jack DeJohnette, keyboardist John Medeski, and Brad Mehldau’s bassist Larry Grenadier hooked up at the 2014 Woodstock jazz festival, and now they’re a busily touring item.

The title track here is a blues-bending, electronics-throbbing four-way improv; Scofield’s Latin-bopper El Swing is like a mix of Chick Corea and Steely Dan; Dylan’s Lay Lady Lay becomes a blues-reggae sway; Scofield’s arching long sounds gently caress Joni Mitchell’s Woodstock; the Band’s Up on Cripple Creek is a down-home, jangling-piano rocker. The group’s slightly clunky Native American chanting might have been better replaced by sampled field-recordings with instrumental decoration, but this is an elite jazz outfit collectively telling a compelling new story.

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