HORIZONS startles with sheer beauty of sound, melody and improvisation. Lisa Hilton’s ‘new’ classic jazz features her shimmering piano with exceptional performances by trumpet savant, Sean Jones, and the soulful tenor sax of J.D. Allen, with strong support from Rudy Royston on drums and Gregg August on bass. Top sound engineers Al Schmitt, Gavin Lurssen, and James Farber have done a exceptional job sure to please audiophiles.
Hilton writes in her liner notes, “Every single day there is beauty in nature…” and it is that natural beauty that informs and inspires these twelve tracks. From the classic straight ahead “Nocturnal” and Count Basie inspired, “Surfer Blues” to the intrigue of “Vapors and Shadows” or the playfulness of “Dolphins” and “Perfect Day,” Hilton and her well – honed band bring a playlist of jazz styles. It is the thrill of the melody though that enlightens “The Sky and the Ocean” and the Southern charmer “Lazy Moon” as well as Hilton’s elegant arrangements of Duke Ellington’s gem, “Sunset and the Mockingbird” and the Mercer/Mancini classic, “Moon River.” These pieces shine with Jones’ clarion flugelhorn and Allens’ seductive tenor alongside Hilton’s silky tones. Royston and August contribute well throughout, especially on The Black Keys “Gold on the Ceiling” and the thoughtful, “Currents”. HORIZONS also includes the impressionistic, “When It Rains” as a solo piano soundscape.
“What I see in nature informs and inspires my life,” Hilton muses. “When I look out to our horizon, I always see something positive and I allow the outdoors to become a metaphor for what we’re doing musically and compositionally. We try and communicate a sense of expansiveness, depth, hope and clarity while improvising on life.”
Considered one of the most distinctive composers and pianists in jazz today, Lisa Hilton’s compositions draw on classical traditions, twentieth century modernists, and the avant-garde as much as they look back to icons of American jazz and blues. Hilton’s style influences extend beyond jazz legends Thelonious Monk, Count Basie or Duke Ellington, to include bluesmen Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson, minimalists like Steve Reich, modernists Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Bartok or current rockers The Black Keys.
“Tradition, adventure, color, communication and simplicity continue to inform Hilton’s work. Hilton is a dynamic soloist who understands form and architecture; the music is artfully constructed but delivers an affecting punch. All of the music comes from a palette full of basic elements that take on new dimensions when blended like this”.
Donald Elfman/The New York Jazz City Record
“Lisa Hilton, purely and simply, continues to astound me. Her new CD, Horizons, is beyond belief – some of the music brings tears to my eyes, and isn’t that what it’s all about, evoking emotion? If you can do that to a listener, you done hit the jackpot. Whether she’s playing with that light and beautiful touch, or with her deep, driving, complex sound, it’s absolutely incredible music and an album well worth your attention.”
Hugh “Hurricane” Carson/KVNF Radio
“Lisa Hilton presents her alternately lush and hard-driving post-bop on a winning new release with help from a sturdy supporting cast.”
Time Out New York
“Hilton is excited about communicating through music.”
Hot House Jazz Guide
“The essence of HORIZONS is of an intimate yet intense soundscape inspired by the forces of nature. The all star band of trumpet master Sean Jones, the multi-dimensional style of J.D. Allen and the amazing rhythm section of drummer Rudy Royston and bassist Greg August are a thunderclap of deceptively subtle textures… A spatial and expansive release – Lisa Hilton is the real deal.”
“Destined to be one of the top 10 albums of 2015! It fires on all cylinders.”
Gary Lowe/WUNH Radio
“Pick of the Week.”
Don Heckman/International Review of Music
“Popular in Japan, from the beautiful American pianist, Lisa Hilton, is the long-awaited new recording: HORIZONS. With her piano trio at the center, the music is sprinkled with the trumpet of Sean Jones and the tenor sax of JD Allen, as they go into the center of the original song with lush melody & beauty. There is a good feeling naturally expressed and at times, a very delicate melody. Lisa Hilton is unique, and there is a charm to entrance listeners, while retaining a fresh lightness and calm emotional feel: a nice gem”
“This is a winner !! I have to be completely honest with you, the sounds coming from this CD are wonderfully listenable, compelling me to slip my player into repeat.”