The Gershwin Problem…..Galactic Diamonds Review.

Call it the Gershwin problem; was he writing classical, jazz or pop? Well, yes he was. He used classical form, technique and craft to make pop­ular, accessible music that was full of the language of the blues and jazz. I think what is confounding is that Gershwin was a great genius, and generally we’re conditioned to think of genius as belong ing to a high-art/esoteric context. He wanted to please, and he did while always being brilliant, and that’s greatness.

Hudson has some of the good film composer’s quality in his music, each of the eleven relatively short works on the recording are focussed on a precise expression, and there are many moments that tug at the strings of imaginary narratives, like the way the repeated harmonies modulate on the aptly titled “PG.” Hudson also favors tango rhythms, themes and interplay, like the title track and the opening “Tune With Tango.” This is music that comes out of the New Tango movement, taking what was essentially country-western, running it through the rigorous sieve of classical form and developing substantial improvisa­tion out of it. These tangos are more genteel than New Tango founder Astor Piazzolla, with a light touch and relaxed tempo that has a sub tle power.

As a composer, he is interested in the interplay of voices in the chamber music setting. To that he makes room for improvisation, and then wraps every thing in a very straight for ward, pop-music type of communication. The group aims to please with out pandering, to play music for our enjoyment and theirs, and that sweet spot is a valuable thing.


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