Hudson's Next Level

Bruce Von Stiers

Atlanta has become a hub for some great talent. There are some top notch films and television programs being produced there. Along with that, there is some incredible music coming from there. Especially jazz music. One of those people giving Atlanta, and the world, a great taste of jazz is Brian Hudson. Brian is a drummer whose talents are in high demand as a studio musician. He is also a member of the rock roots band Memory Dean.

Stepping away from his role as a studio musician, Brian has recorded his own album. Filled with original compositions, the title of Brian's debut album is Next Level. Which is appropriate as he has taken his music to the next level.

The album has ten songs and a play time of forty minutes. Brian is self-releasing the album.

Brian was the executive producer for the album. It was produced, engineered and mixed by Randy Hoexter. The album was mastered by Alex Lowe at his Red Tuxedo Mastering studio. Brian and Randy share writing credit for the all of the compositions on the album.

Besides producing the album, Randy Hoexter played the keys and piano. Some of the people Randy has worked with include Dave Weckl and Jimmy Haslip. Adam Nitti was on bass. Adam also played with Dave Weckl, along with Carrie Underwood and Kenny Loggins. Trey Wright was on guitar and acoustic guitar. Trey has his own trio, appropriately named the Trey Wright Trio. Melvin Jones played trumpet. He's played for the Jacksons and Kirk Whalum. Sam Skelton played alto and tenor sax. Sam has worked with such greats as Quincy Jones and Barry Manilow. Joe Reda played bass on a couple of songs and upright bass on another. Joe's pedigree includes working with both Larry Carlton and Earl Klugh. Brian played drums on all of the songs.

NYC is the first song. It is a nice groove with some very cool piano. But then again, the trumpet and sax was pretty cool too.

Seventy Eight has a nice level of groove with some excellent guitar.

Metro is a groove piece that have slick funk built it. The trumpet has a prominent place in this song.

I couldn't remember where I knew Ybor City from. I found it is a neighborhood in Tampa, Florida that was founded by immigrants and has Italian, Spanish and Cuban ancestry running through it. There is a song on the album titled Ybor City. It kind of fits with the sense of the Tampa neighborhood, as it mixes a lot of styles together for a really good jazz piece.

That is followed by Mr. Peabody. The title made me think of the cartoon, with the professor dog and the boy Sherman. But that seem to be what this song is about. It is a subtle piece with some nice guitar and drums.

Silver Lining has a head bopping beat.

The song title Jumping Nylons brought forth a whole bunch of different visions in my mind. What I found in the song is a cool, solid groove. It made me think of The Rippingtons.

Playing With Gravity is the final song on the album. It also reminded me of The Rippingtons, with a touch of Dave Grusin thrown in.

With the talent that was on this album, I was sure that it would be good. I wasn't disappointed. Not only is Brian Hudson a really good drummer, the other performers on the album complement each other well. And the compositions on Next Level are excellent.

You will find Next Level on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon and Spotify.

Check out Brian's official web site at He has some videos on the site spotlighting his drumming and the latest information on things like his studio work.

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© 2017 Bruce E Von Stiers