Composer/pianist/band leader Lisa Hilton has completed her eighteenth release, NOCTURNAL with her most impressive band to date – Hilton again on keys, with Antonio Sanchez/drums, Terell Stafford/trumpet, Gregg August/bass and J.D. Allen on tenor sax.
The eleven tracks show a remarkable emotional depth and clarity from all band members with plenty of virtuosic moments. For lovers of tradition, the title track Nocturnal, Whirlwind and the classic, Willow Weep for Me allow for Stafford’s fluid trumpet and flugelhorn and Allen’s husky tenor tone to shine. The Latin flavored, Spark in the Night, showcases Sanchez and August and their extensive Latin backgrounds in a catchy and appealing way, while Twilight is impressionistic.
A surprise choice is The Pixies’ Where is my Mind – so simply stated, then turning in another direction by the finale. It’s on the bluesy Seduction and the tender An August Remembered that Hilton’s flowing lines and compositional ideas are highlighted. Also included is Hilton’s Midnight Sonata for piano, bass and drums: I. Symphony of Blues II. Desire and III. Midnight Stars.
“I have 200+ tracks on iTunes that I have composed or arranged now,” Hilton explains, “and felt inspired to create a larger work of music. Midnight Sonata merges a classical format with the freedom of American jazz and blues in a method I call trans-genre. Many of our great American composers composed in classical music that I have been inspired by: George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Dave Brubeck to name a few. It was challenging as well as being a lot of fun compositionally.”
While the sonata form is in tact, Hilton used improvisation, blues, modal washes, shifting key centers, free jazz, impressionism and extended technique in creating a refreshing yet familiar vibe. NOCTURNAL is evocative, expressive and perfect for jazz and piano fans everywhere.
“Lisa Hilton is one of the finest musical impressionists…she explores a stunning amount of original material on NOCTURNAL.”
Ken Franckling/Jazz Notes
“Hilton’s compositions and melodies bear repeat listening sessions.”
“Lisa Hilton has done a remarkable job.”
The New York Jazz City Record
“Lisa Hilton just gets better.”
WTJU Radio Virginia
“What a wonderful album.”
Exploring Jazz/WUNH New Hampshire