Monday, October 16, 2017
Concert Review: Hudson at Yardley Hall
Jack DeJohnette and John Scofield sang ragged harmonies on the chorus of a swinging rendition of the Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek” at Yardley Hall on Sunday. The moment might have the most delightful surprise in a concert filled with unexpected pleasures.
The legendary drummer and iconic guitarist were joined by keyboardist John Medeski, a leading light of the jam-band community, and Larry Grenadier, a first-call bassist for the likes of Pat Metheny. Scofield explained that the group is named Hudson because “we all live in the Hudson River Valley” before he added that much of the their repertoire consists of “covers... associated with that region.”
A couple seated near me was among the quarter of the audience of about 500 who bailed before the conclusion of the nearly two-hour concert. They were repelled by the free jazz dissonance in a profound instrumental interpretation of Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” They probably should have stayed- no two selections on the nine-song set list were alike.
The eclectic concert also included the sort of old-school organ jazz that wouldn’t have sounded out of place at the Green Lady Lounge, the propulsive funk of Medeski, Martin & Wood’s good-time collaborations with Scofield and groovy renditions of classic rock songs. The show was enhanced by the most immaculate sound field of any jazz concert in the Kansas City area in recent memory.
DeJohnette laughed at himself when he dropped a drumstick on the final beat of the encore. It was the only misstep in an otherwise flawless concert.
Set list: Wait Until Tomorrow, Hudson, El Swing, Castles Made of Sand, Up On Cripple Creek, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, Dirty Ground, Tony Then Jack (my best guess), Woodstock
(Original image by Plastic Sax.)