Title - 'Chalkboard Destiny'
Artist - Lisa Hilton
For those not in the know, Lisa Hilton's style influences extend beyond jazz legends Thelonious Monk, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington, to include bluesman Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson, to classical giants like Chopin.
Hilton’s releases consistently sustain her profile as a consistent composer, pianist, producer and bandleader. She also performs at venues across the US from the Weill Recital Hall within the legendary Carnegie Hall to Chicago’s historic Green Mill and is known her expressive technique at the piano as well as for her warmth and storytelling on stage.
Originally from a small town on California's central coast, Hilton studied classical and twentieth century piano formally from the age of eight, where she was inspired by her great uncle, Willem Bloemendall, (1910-1937), a young Dutch piano virtuoso.
In college though, due to the lack of creativity in the music program, she switched majors and received a degree in art instead. Ever since becoming a professional musician, this background in the fine arts has well informed Hilton's composition process.
On her brand new, and 24th worldwide album, Chalkboard Destiny (out now via Ruby Slipper Productions), Hilton redefines her path once more.
Joined by jazz luminaries JD Allen on tenor sax, Rudy Royston on drums and Luques Curtis on bass, throughout the 10 tracks Hilton conveys her lyrical concept of the idea that our future, our destiny, can be continually reshaped; implying that we are not beholden by history or traditional myths, allowing us a freedom in creation.
1. 'Rush Hour Rhapsody'
2. 'Sympathy for Blues'
3. 'Chalkboard Destiny'
4. 'Temporary Lullaby'
5. 'Blue Boy'
6. 'Tropic of Tango'
7. 'Waltz from Nowhere'
8. 'Myths & Fantasy'
9. 'Café Au Mojo'
10. 'Adventures & Alibis'
Opening with the pitter patter perky brilliance of 'Rush Hour Rhapsody,' a track that encapsulates that time of day just perfectly, the album then slides into a more laid back, Pink Pantheresque vibe with 'Sympathy for Blues' (which also features a quite stunning sax solo from Allen), backing that up with the atmospheric title track, and then the dulcet ballad 'Temporary Lullaby.'
The laid back, retro charm of Hilton's piano playing combining oh so sweetly with her trio of featured performers then continues onward in fine form with their rendition of the Joni Mitchell classic 'Blue Boy.'
Next up are the impulsive Latin rhythms found within the ambiance of 'Tropic of Tango,' which is backed by a rather stirring 'Waltz From Nowhere.'
The album then rounds out with more Latin percussion on both 'Myths & Fantasy' and one of my own personal favorites, the connective 'Adventures & Alibis,' with some more traditional melodies elegantly captured within the track sandwiched in-between, 'Café au Mojo.'
It’s noteworthy that Grammy award-winning engineers Al Schmitt, Gavin Lurssen, Reuben Cohen, and Fernando Lodeiro all contributed to the high quality soundscape found here on Lisa Hilton's compelling new album, Chalkboard Destiny.
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