Brian Hudson is reviewed by The Sentinel with “Ahaya”

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by Travis Rogers, Jr.

Brian Hudson – Ahaya

Brian Hudson is one versatile and in-demand drummer. He has recorded in almost every genre you care to name, with the possible exception of Tibetan Throat Singing, and he has excelled in every endeavor. But he leads a Jazz Fusion band and, pardon me for saying, this is where he makes his indelible mark. This is the mark set on his 2017 debut album Next Level and is followed up in his 2021 EP Ahaya.

With Brian are keyboardist and composer Randy Hoexter, saxophone and other woodwinds master Sam Skelton, guitarist Anthony Papamichael, and bassist Adam Nitti. Each of them continue the flash and bang of the previous album and make you want to dig out Next Level all over again.

The three tracks are gems, one and all. Skelton and Papamichael light it up over and again on guitars and the rhythm section is tight in the groove with each song.

Luna Sea opens the EP with what will become the signature cool drums and brilliant bass. Skelton’s sax comes aboard with the aplomb of Tom Scott and the rhythm section makes you bob your head throughout. Papamichael gives a scratchy rhythm guitar addition. Randy Hoexter’s keyboards are spot on and you feel yourself looking for more. This was a smoking intro to what is to come.

Caladesi follows with more of the cool sax and Papamichael provides the great guitar we were hoping to hear. Hoexter supports with the vast Hammond sound. But never lose sight of what Brian and Nitti are giving in terms of propulsion and rhythm. The hooks are memorable and the melodies are mesmerizing.

Spirit Run closes the EP with the extended melodies and rhythms that have made this such an enjoyable experience. Here is where Randy Hoexten turns in some of his best keyboard work with Skelton following up on sax. The lock-step melodic lines and rhythms are wonderful while the solo departures never disappoint.

Ahaya needs to be heard over and over. Each composition is fascinating and the performances are riveting. Each of the artists are also deserving of dedicated listening. If an EP is designed to make you want more, Ahaya succeeds magnificently.

Kari Gaffney

Kari Gaffney

Since 1988 Kari-On Productions has helped artists get an even footing in the industry through jazz promotion in the genres of Jazz, World & Latin Jazz through Jazz Radio and Publicity. Why do we do both, because they compliment each other, and we care about fiscal longevity for the artist.

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