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Steve Hudson Chamber Ensemble: Galactic Diamonds

The Steve Hudson Chamber Ensemble's new CD is entitled Galactic Diamonds and a very good one it is. Based out of New York City band members include Steve Hudson (piano, melodica), Jody Redhage (cello, voice), Zach Brock (violin) and Martin Urbach (drums, cajon, percussion).

While the music explored on Galactic Diamonds is definitely jazz, other styles percolate to the surface including ragtime, funk, blues and classical. It is both eclectic and melodic, an amalgamation of varying styles that had me hitting the repeat button more than once. The music is mostly acoustic and the band make the most of the few instruments they use. Hudson's piano is fabulous throughout the album and his playing, while being very melodic also verges on the wildly chaotic. Augmenting the piano is Redhage's violin. Again, the playing is flawless and her rich rhythms adds another layer for the listener to peel back and discover something new and exciting.

The album is off to a fine start with the fun "Tune With Tango" and its bouncy piano melody, subtle brush strokes and wisps of percussion. It's a throwback to those glorious days gone by and includes some excellent solos of violin, piano and cajon. The sparsely arranged "Keep It Simple" is another good one with just a hint of bluegrass and a heartwarming melody. The earthy "Speak Out" lightly builds in layers as the percussion groove is slowly reinforced. The repeating piano melody is a real treat as is the violin.

One of the more poignant offerings is "Song For John Lennon" with its gorgeous piano playing that has just the right amount of melancholy and wistfulness. "PG" is another excellent ballad with stark piano setting a somewhat darker mood.

More highlights include the Eastern tinged "Para" with its and acidic violin riffage and the uplifting "Funky Hobbit", a funk laden number with more searing violin work from Redhage.

I really enjoyed getting to know this album and I think anyone who likes melodic eclectic jazz will too. Released on Groovaholic Music.

Track Listing:
1. Tune With Tango (5:15)
2. Keep It Simple (4:57)
3. Speak Out (6:00)
4. Song For John Lennon (7:16)
5. PG (5:03)
6. Galactic Diamonds (4:41)
7. Para (4:02)
8. Moving On (2:56)
9. Funky Hobbit (5:31)
10. Wanderin' (3:35)
11. Mingus Moon (9:46)

Added: June 1st 2011
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1865
Language: english

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