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Jazz Supergroup Releases Debut Album

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Friday June 09, 2017

From Westword

Jazz Supergroup Hudson Releases Debut Album
By: Jon Solomon

By the time Jack DeJohnette and his family moved from Manhattan to the Hudson River Valley in the early ‘70s, the masterful jazz drummer had worked with Bill Evans and Charles Lloyd and recorded with Miles Davis on albums, including the 1970 jazz-rock watershed release, Bitches Brew.

DeJohnette, a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and Grammy-winner who turns 75 in August, says when he moved to the Hudson Valley, Bob Dylan was still around and there were a lot of blues artists like Taj Mahal living there.

“It was a great environment for creative artists,” DeJohnette says. “A lot of artists have been here for many years, music artists and writers, painters and so forth. The Woodstock Festival was in the ‘60s and people like Dylan and Hendrix were up here, and the Band, of course.”

The area has also attracted fellow jazz players, like guitarist John Scofield, bassist Larry Grenadier and keyboardist John Medeski, who all moved to the Hudson Valley, DeJohnette says, to raise their kids in “a peaceful environment and a community that’s really great to be a part of.”

DeJohnette says that is reflected in the music of Hudson, the band the four musicians formed after playing the Woodstock Jazz Festival in 2014. They’ve all played in various combinations. Scofield and Medeski go back two decades to A Go Go, Scofield’s first album with Medski Martin & Wood; Scofield and DeJohnette recorded and toured together with Trio Beyond and collaborated with Herbie Hancock. DeJohnette and Grenadier have played with Pat Metheny, on various recordings and gigs in the Hudson Valley. But when the four musicians played together at the Woodstock Jazz Festival, that configuration was a first.

“It was a great rapport, and we had good time playing the music,” DeJohnette says. “Then I asked everybody, because we had such a great time during the festival: It would be a great idea if we put together the group and do a recording, do some dates. Everybody was down with that”…

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