For Lisa Hilton, music and art are always intertwined. Despite formal training in classical and 20th century piano, the rigor of composition and music theory, or leading a performance tightrope of improvisation with living jazz legends, Hilton brings the visual to the forefront when she sits down to compose. “While Louis Armstrong was performing, Monet was painting water lilies and French composers like Debussy were using harmonic ‘impressionism.’ As a composer today, I explore music as art, building the composition with musical elements then ‘painting’ texture and color through various jazz approaches,” Hilton explains. “I might apply Seurat’s pointillism ideas to improvisation, creating new ways of expressing our life today.”
On Hilton’s DAY & NIGHT, she offers a clear picture of this technique, conveying a deep and rich emotional view into her musical soul. Hilton utilized improvisation, blues, modal washes, shifting key centers, and free jazz as well as impressionism to create a refreshing yet familiar vibe. “I have always admired our great American composers Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Horace Silver and Count Basie, who were able to write strong melodies as well as creating lush musical landscapes.”
For this album, Hilton looked particularly to the great Cole Porter, one of her favorite composers, for inspiration, (the album title DAY & NIGHT is a nod to Porter’s classic, Night and Day). As Hilton noted, “I have always appreciated Cole Porter’s strong melodies and gentle Latin rhythms.
Hilton includes a searing and simple take on Porters classic, “Begin the Beguine” which turns wondrously seductive under her touch. Her original tunes, “Stepping into Paradise,” “A Spark in the Night” and “So This is Love” do convey some of Porter’s cosmopolitan essence, but also include the vibrating energy and bluesy soul of fellow composer/pianists Count Basie and Horace Silver.
DAY & NIGHT begins with the upbeat samba charmer, “Caffeinated Culture” before the title track delivers its sophisticated drama. “Sunrise” and “Sunset on the Beach” both feature Hilton as a strong impressionist, one of the unique qualities of her compositions while “Dark Sky Day” hints of Hilton’s classical training. Hilton has composed her pieces to treat the traditional in new ways, combining multiple rhythmic and genre ideas as if to try and shine a different light to the scene of a shared cup of coffee, a jostle of memories or the simmer of passions held dear to the heart.
Hilton states, “DAY & NIGHT echoes my commitment to discover and savor every day moments: to see the beauty in a day from the first glow of sunrise to the dimming sky at sunset, and to acknowledge and share these rich times with others.”
23-time GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Al Schmitt lends his masterful talents to these ten tracks that were recorded at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood and are a treat for any audiophile. There is a remarkable intimacy and immediacy that brings you right inside the sound Hilton has worked with Schmitt and Grammy® Award-winning engineer Gavin Lurssen, who mastered the album, for over a decade.
About Lisa Hilton
Hilton’s body of work includes over 200 recorded tracks and her compositions draw on classical traditions, American jazz and blues, and the avant-garde, creating a body of work embracing a rich musical history while representing the hue and the cry, the modernity and energy of our current epoch. Hilton’s blues-inflected trans-genre or poly-genre style influences extend beyond jazz legends to include bluesman Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson, minimalists like Steve Reich, current rockers Black Keys or modernists Prokofiev and Bartok.
As an independent artist, Hilton has produced a total of nineteen albums through her publishing company, as well as having two albums released exclusively in Asia, and inclusion on several international compilations. Hilton continues to work with this era’s jazz luminaries including Christian McBride, Nasheet Waits, Sean Jones, Marcus Gilmore, Steve Wilson, Jeremy Pelt, Lewis Nash, Billy Hart, Larry Grenadier, Rudy Royston, and Bobby Militello among others. Her most recent release, Nocturnal, features trumpeter Terell Stafford, tenor saxophonist JD Allen, bassist Gregg August and drummer Antonio Sanchez. Hilton’s music has appeared on international radio charts year after year for over a decade and has been heard on hundreds of radio stations around the world – including syndicated programs like NPR’s popular “Morning Edition.”
Lisa Hilton · DAY & NIGHT
Ruby Slippers Productions · Release Date: December 16, 2016
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