Jazz FM - Album Of The Week
"James Hudson arrives on the recording scene with this polished and exuberant collection of standards - smartly arranged and smoothly performed”
"A thoroughly enjoyable album with imaginative arrangements that capture the timelessness of the chosen repertoire”
"Super-slick and assured"
"An immaculate recording debut by a singer with a great potential"
Album Liner Notes
Over 2 years in the making, my debut album 'TOMORROW' is by far the biggest milestone of my career so far. I'm proud to say this was a self-released record which gave myself and the band complete creative control and allowed us to do things at our own pace and really explore the ideas we had.
We recorded the whole album over two full day sessions (one of which was my birthday) at Eastcote Studios in West London. We opted for late session times, from midday to 10pm. Firstly because recording vocals in the morning is never ideal but also because the midday start allowed our drummer Luke to fly in from Switzerland just in time for the first session... as if I needed anything else to worry about. In total we spent 20 hours in the studio and were well prepared so everything went really smoothly. We finished the tracks with about 4 hours to spare so took that time to pick out the best takes and do any polishing - the last thing we did was record the verse for 'Someone to Watch Over Me'. All of the tracks were recorded live with the whole band playing at the same time to get that authentic sound we really wanted.
Long before the recording sessions I spent a lot of time with Joe and Nick working on the arrangements. I took the decision to work on half of the arrangements with Joe and half with Nick which worked really well. I had so many ideas for each song and these guys really helped me bring them to life whilst adding their own brilliance too. Together we worked on my vision for the album to have an old-school feel with a modern edge, that would appeal to a wider audience whilst also being hip and interesting enough that jazz fans would enjoy. Choosing the songs was fairly simple - I just picked my favourite standards that I felt hadn't already been over-done by other artists, then threw in Tomorrow from Annie which i've always wanted to put my own spin on. It took time to find a balance with the styles, tempos and sound of each track before finding a place that I am really happy with.
The guys on this record are not only of my best friends, but some of the best jazz musicians I have ever met! We'd been playing together for over 5 years by this point and I knew all of these chaps were absolutely perfect for 'TOMORROW'.
Many artists hugely influenced me when making this album, including Oscar Peterson, Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Diana Krall, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Ella Fitzgerald, Matt Monro and many more. I would listen to their records on repeat in the run up to the recording dates! Another huge influence behind this whole project is my passion for singing jazz standards. The composers and lyricists who’s work make up The Great American Songbook have gifted us with a rich library of incredible songs that allow us all to interpret them in our own way - and that is exactly what I strived to do with 'TOMORROW'.
James Hudson - Vocals
Joe Hill - Piano & Musical Director
Nick Fitch - Guitars & Musical Director
Luke Tomlinson - Drums
Jack Tustin - Bass
Recording Studio: Eastcote Studios
Studio Engineer: George Murphy
Mixing Engineer & Studio: Darren Williams @ The Den Studios
Mastering Engineer & Studio: Geoff Pesche @ Abbey Road Studios
Artwork and Photography: Nedim Nazerali
Graphic Design: Imran Nazerali