After listening to The Sea To The North, the only question remains, “Is there an instrument Garth Hudson doesn’t play?” His instrumental credits include bass, tenor and soprano saxophone, accordion, synthesizer, piano, Moller pipe organ, Allen organ, melodica and tarogato. Tarogato?!
Like the instrumentation, The Sea To The North is challenging, far-reaching and a lot of fun. “The Cyrus And The Mulgrew” is a wild, nearly 12-minute journey, equal parts early ‘70s Frank Zappa and Weather Report. There’s a wild version of the Grateful Dead classic “Dark Star,” and plenty of surprises in between. Hudson closes the show with a lovely piano solo, “Little Island,” resembling something akin to Chopin playing jazz.
This is about as far from his work with The Band as one can imagine, but that’s the point of solo efforts. I’m sure Hudson has a lot more music left in him. Let’s hope we hear it soon.