Friday, December 08, 2023

Lisa Hilton | "Coincidental Moment"

"I love the way jazz tugs at our emotions in a way no other music can: it can calmly seduce your soul or prompt you to dance," states the award-winning composer and acclaimed pianist Lisa Hilton in the liner notes for her latest release, Coincidental Moment (Ruby Slippers Productions 1029), out December 1, 2023. “The music here reflects the cool energies and history of jazz, but definitely sounds like today.”

The nine original compositions and two cover tunes are laced throughout with rich blue tones augmented by modal flights all shimmering and swinging with Hilton's expressive touch on the piano. Coincidental Moment gracefully shares the spotlight with quartet mates Igmar Thomas on trumpet, Luques Curtis on bass, and Rudy Royston on drums and percussion.

Royston's drum mastery is evident throughout the album, but his delightful and catchy bongo rhythms are also featured on tracks Jagged Lil' Blues and Blue Tropics. Jazz traditionalists will enjoy the retro vibes of Happily Go Luckily and Anxiety Society with their cool grooves and snappy trumpet improvisations by Thomas. The entire quartet shines on the evocative Spanish-tinged Enigmatic Adventure and infuse Everyday Anthem with a stirring gospel energy.

The inclusion of the iconic Miles Davis/Bill Evans track Blue In Green shows the breadth of this band – Thomas's moody muted tones, contrasting but blending with Hilton's fluid piano, are underscored by Curtis's deep bass timbre and Royston's delicate touch on cymbals. An interesting choice was the inclusion of West Coast, written by singer/composer Lana Del Rey: the quartet easily turns this pop track into a darker and very expressive experience. Curtis is a vital contributor throughout, especially on the trio track Multiple Perspectives, which blends jazz rhythms and classical interludes with agility. Hilton's skill in composing intimate ballads is apparent on the title track - performed as a trio – and on Uncommon Poetry, which closes the album as an eloquent solo piano piece.

Saturated with lush harmonic ideas and brimming with textures and emotions, the album Coincidental Moment is jazz just right for any moment.

The music of Lisa Hilton draws on classic American jazz greats such as Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Horace Silver, and Count Basie, as well as blues heroes Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson. She is a prolific composer who records and performs with many of today's jazz luminaries. Her 27 albums sit regularly at the top of the Jazz Week and other radio/streaming charts for the last two decades, drawing millions of plays on streaming services and appearing regularly as an Amazon #1 New Jazz Release. Hilton has performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Smithsonian Institution, UCLA's Royce Theatre, San Francisco Jazz, and Chicago's historic Green Mill. Hilton is also the creator and co-author of the popular children's book If Dinosaurs Were Alive Today (Price Stern Sloan), which she co-wrote with her sister, Sandra L. Kirkpatrick. The book was recently updated and published as a digital version by the same name. 

The Lisa Hilton Quartet 2024 Tour Dates:

  • March  6, 2024 Raitt Recital Hall 7:30 pm at Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA
  • March  7, 2024 SF Jazz 7 pm and 8:30 pm, San Francisco, CA
  • March 12, 2024 The Jazz Showcase 6:00 pm, Chicago, IL
  • March 13, 2024 Weinberg Center for the Arts/New Spire Arts 7:30 pm, Frederick, MD
  • March 14, 2024 Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall 8 pm, NYC, NY
  • March 15, 2024 Jazz Upstairs at Miller Symphony Hall, 7:30, Allentown, PA

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