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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - Life Is Beautiful
Artist - Lisa Hilton

For those not in the know, Lisa Hilton and her trio manifest a memorable experience on her brand new album, Life Is Beautiful (due out April 1st, 2022 via Ruby Slippers Productions), her third recording of the pandemic era, and the acclaimed pianist, composer, and producer’s twenty-fifth album as a leader.

On it, Hilton indulges her love of the piano with ten original tracks and the cover gem, Ernie’s Blues, (written by Ernie Wilkins). Backed by her ever-excellent band mates: Rudy Royston on drums and Luques Curtis on bass, Hilton’s elegantly swinging piano and engaging compositions encompass a range from traditional tracks, Latin, blues and retro seamlessly.

1. Ernie’s Blues
2. Retro Road Trip
3. Nightingales & Fairy Tales
4. Too Hot
5. Unforgotten Moments, Half Forgotten Dreams
6. Stepping Into Paradise
7. Santa Monica Samba
8. Seduction
9. Temporary Lullaby
10. More Than Another Day
11. So This Is Love

With Royston continually hitting the marks on his kit, and Curtis showing off plenty of style over this splendid repertoire of compositions, this acutely heartfelt album opens on the quietly gentle, at first, but gradually building flow of an impressive bass solo from Curtis on the classic Ernie’s Blues and then brings us the rhythmically wondrous ebb and flow of Retro Road Trip.

Inspired by classic American Standards, up next is the dulcetly beautiful Nightingales and Fairy Tales and that is itself followed by Too Hot (which sweetly dips into modal ideas creating its own melodic atmosphere) and then comes the twinklingly ornate gossamer of Unforgotten Moments, Half Forgotten Dreams and then we get two Latin flavored compositions back-to-back in the form of Stepping Into Paradise and the perky embrace of Santa Monica Samba.

Up next is Seduction, a solo piano piece that Hilton has recorded before, with a new extended version here, showcasing Hilton’s love for the blues and that is backed by a simply gorgeous work written for her daughter, Temporary Lullaby, the album rounding out with the gently vibrant More Than Another Day (which, in the liner notes, Hilton mentions the nods she musical paid to Miles Davis, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Cole Porter), coming to a close on another American Standard-inspired moment, So This Is Love.

Lisa Kristine Hilton is a distinctive composer of jazz, an acclaimed pianist, a bandleader, and producer. Growing up in a small town on California’s central coast, she originally taught herself to play piano with a colored keyboard guide, writing her first simple songs around six years old, before beginning studies in classical and twentieth-century music starting at the age of eight.

In college, she switched majors from music and graduated instead with a degree in art and has noted that her art background regularly informs her creativity. Hilton’s music draws on classical traditions, and twentieth-century modernists as well as classic American jazz greats such as Cole Porter, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis and Horace Silver, as well as blues heroes Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson.

In the book, “The New Face of Jazz: An Intimate Look at Today’s Living Legends and Artists of Tomorrow” by Cicily Janus, it states that Hilton has been “compared to some of the best pianists in history.”

Hilton has continued to compose, perform and produce an album a year in a trio, quartet, quintet or solo piano setting, and is a familiar name at the top of charts like Jazz Week, ZMR, and #1 Amazon New Releases.

Hiltons albums also regularly appear on some “Best Of” lists” at All About Jazz or other sites, and popular music collections like Apple’s Pure Jazz Playlist and recommended by Alexa.

Hilton often speaks about the need for the music of women composers to be heard and presented more consistently in theaters and clubs performing jazz, classical and opera, as well as honoring their historical cultural contributions.

Official Website

Amazon Purchase Link

Lisa Hilton @ Facebook