Sunday, August 18, 2013

CD Review – Getaway, by Lisa Hilton

Now this is a piano jazz trio.
Veteran jazz pianist Lisa Hilton hits another one out of the park with this fine, elegant CD featuring her veteran collaborators Larry Grenadier on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums and percussion. Aside from covers of “Stormy Monday Blues” and Adele’s “Turning Tables,” the album showcases Hilton’s snappy, original compositions, which are perfectly suited to the piano jazz trio format. And the sound quality is so crisp and clear, it sounds like you’re right in the studio with Hilton, Grenadier, and Waits, or in the front row at an intimate live venue.
I’ve seen mentions of Hilton being in the same league as such classic jazz pianists as Dave Brubeck, Bill Evans, and Keith Jarrett, and such comparisons are merited. However, there is one name I haven’t read in conjunction with Hilton before (perhaps because I may have missed it) that kept popping into my head as I listened to the record: Vince Gauraldi.
Gauraldi was an accomplished jazz pianist who worked in a trio format among others, and he is most famous for scoring and performing the soundtracks to the original Charlie Brown animated specials of the 1960s and early 1970s. For me, no other jazz pianist has come close to emulating Gauraldi’s brilliance. That is, until now. If I were producing new Charlie Brown animated projects, my first pick to score and perform the soundtracks would be Lisa Hilton.
This is a classy CD from a class act.
--Raj Manoharan

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