GETTING TO KNOW YOU: CARL HUDSON
CARL HUDSON'S GROOVE NIGHT
Since arriving in London in 2006, Lincolnshire-born pianist Carl Hudson has been steadily establishing himself as one of the most interesting and versatile keyboard players in the UK. Equally comfortable playing modern jazz, funk, R&B or soul on piano, keyboard or synthesizer, he has performed with UK jazz saxophone heavyweights such as Peter King and Mornington Lockett as well contributing to live sessions with the Average White Band and Sister Sledge. He has also worked closely with producer/performer Soulpersona, being the featured keyboard player in his Digisoul collective since 2010 and has recorded and performed live with numerous artists including the likes of Jamiroquai drummer Nick Van Gelder, Jocelyn Brown, Leon Ware, Omar and The Valentine Brothers. His live show includes a mixture of straight ahead modern and more contemporary styles interwoven into a diverse and engaging repertoire. Tonight, here at the Club, Carl will be performing his "groove night" set which promises to be full of exciting compositions and tried and tested groove classics. We have asked Carl to curate a series of “Groove” nights here for us at the Club and for this first show, he has assembled a fantastic line up of musicians, many of whom are outstanding bandleaders in their own right, including Holly Petrie (vocals), Bobby Quigley (guitar), Neville Malcolm (bass), Pete Biggin (drums) and Dave Lewis (sax). Looking like the best groove event of the year so far…
“A true musical genius…Carl Hudson has just …made one of my all time favourite albums” Soulpersona;
606: Your upcoming show on Monday 4 August will be the first of an ongoing series of Groove Nights. What does the term "groove" mean to you by definition?
CH: Groove - it's a loose term really! It's funk, soul, jazz, R&B, all fused together so that the emphasis is on improvisation using infectious, danceable rhythms as the vehicle..
606: Which artists in your opinion epitomise groove, and what is it about each of them in particular that makes their music distinctive?
CH: Again - that's a difficult question, because the scope is so wide! But for me, there's a period from the mid 70's to the mid '80s, where fantastic-sounding records were made, with bands that all played together, live, in the studio (and with killer analog keyboards!).. And speaking as a keyboard player, people such as Don Blackman, Stevie Wonder, Prince, George Duke all come to mind..
606: How is groove similar to or different from jazz?
CH: Groove is jazz - fused with funk, soul.. with Rhythm! That way the jazz is slipped in stealthily; it hits you directly so you can feel it and are moved by it, rather than being 'intellectualized' by it! (is that a word?!)
606: As the curator shall we say of the Groove Night series, what are your criteria for selecting the music and the musicians?
CH: I'm trying to get a band that enjoys laying down a heavy groove.. People that play with warmth and sensitivity, and put their hearts into their playing! And being here amongst the fine array of funky musicians in London, I'm spoilt for choice!
606: One of the many things that is cool about you Carl is your versatility - you gigged here at the Six last year with your own project "Zoology for Martians" released through Digisoul, yet you can be found behind the keys playing for Latin jazz band Samara (as you did at Fulham Palace in July), and again with soul/jazz singer Lily Dior on August 6th. In terms of your own musical identity, what is your philosophy, your mission statement as it were?
CH: I think it comes down to a simple thing really - when I first left home and went to Uni, I found a video of George Duke playing in Tokyo, in 1983.. And from the moment he arrived on stage with his keyboard, he played with a huge beaming smile; every note was alive and seemed to mean something.. Even when playing synths, he brought such a human element to the electronics.. And he applied that philosophy to the keyboard, no matter what genre of music he played - jazz, rock, pop, latin, funk.. If I can channel even a tiny bit of that soulful playing, then I'm fulfilled as a musician.
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