All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

113

Steve Hudson Chamber Ensemble: Galactic Diamonds

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Some people favor the big statement: the bling of an over-large jewel, the blinding distraction of too many sparkly things. Others have the good taste to know that the small stones shine most brightly. Pianist, composer and melodica player Steve Hudson is one of those people, and the debut recording from his Steve Hudson Chamber Ensemble, Galactic Diamonds, is a collection of little gems.

The idea of a Chamber Ensemble might suggest a classical aggregation; as does the presence of Jody Redhage's cello and Zach Brock's violin. But Martin Urbach's percussion takes the group in a more jazz- and funk-oriented direction while Hudson's use of the melodica gives "Para" more than a hint of a Parisian street scene.

Above all, it's the ensemble's willingness to draw so many different styles of music into its repertoire that makes it stand out. "Galactic Diamonds" is the closest the album gets to a straight-ahead jazz number. "Tune With Tango" is pretty much what it says, but this is a jagged, slightly threatening, tango with a sense of pent-up emotions just below the surface. Redhage's wordless vocal adds an air of mystery to "PG" and "Galactic Diamonds." "Funky Hobbit" begins with a funky but simple groove from Hudson's electric keyboard and Brock's violin, but this introduction is deceptive for it soon shifts shape, breaking down into some free jazz improvisation before returning to the opening groove as the tune ends. "Wanderin'" is a delightful contrast, evoking an evening's parlor entertainment with its gently lilting melody from Brock and Hudson's sympathetic piano accompaniment. "Keep It Simple" is a gorgeous, romantic, ballad centered on the pizzicato cello and violin of Redhage and Brock.

The album's tour de force is "Mingus Moon," a nine minute opus that slips and slides through Brock's slightly spooky violin; a sharp, Balkan-style passage driven by Hudson's piano and Urbach's percussion; and finally some deftly played late-night bluesy piano. The tune brings Galactic Diamonds to a fittingly varied close—a summary of the changing moods and motifs that make this album so consistently intriguing and enjoyable.

Track Listing: Tune With Tango; Keep It Simple; Speak Out; Song For John Lennon; PG; Galactic Diamonds; Para; Moving On; Funky Hobbit; Wanderin'; Mingus Moon.

Personnel: Steve Hudson: piano, melodica; Zach Brock: violin; Jody Redhage: cello, vocals; Martin Urbach: drums, cajon, percussion.

Title: Galactic Diamonds | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Keep it Simple

Keep it Simple

Steve Hudson
Galactic Diamonds

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Galactic Diamonds

Galactic Diamonds

Self Produced
2011

buy
Seamless

Seamless

Groovaholic Music
2007

buy
Outer Bridge

Outer Bridge

Self Produced
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Brother Raymond CD/LP/Track Review
Brother Raymond
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Frescalalto CD/LP/Track Review
Frescalalto
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Motion CD/LP/Track Review
Motion
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 22, 2018
Read El Duende CD/LP/Track Review
El Duende
by Chris Mosey
Published: May 22, 2018
Read Walk The Walk CD/LP/Track Review
Walk The Walk
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 21, 2018
Read "Media Vita" CD/LP/Track Review Media Vita
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 10, 2017
Read "The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow" CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by John Sharpe
Published: January 23, 2018
Read "Kisaragi" CD/LP/Track Review Kisaragi
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "The Spirit Of Piteşti" CD/LP/Track Review The Spirit Of Piteşti
by John Sharpe
Published: October 25, 2017
Read "As It Should Be: Ballads 2" CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Small Town" CD/LP/Track Review Small Town
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: August 4, 2017