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Take Five With...

Take Five with Lisa Hilton

By Published: May 3, 2012
What I am listening to now:
I try and listen to a lot of music, and see as much live music as I can afford! I listen more when I'm "off season"—when I'm not in the studio, and I listen to a lot of pianists. I really am liking Vijay Iyer
Vijay Iyer
Vijay Iyer
b.1971
piano
now, although when I first heard him I didn't—I think he's grown a lot in the last couple years. I like Marc Carey, John Escreet, Dan Tepfer
Dan Tepfer
Dan Tepfer
b.1982
piano
and Timothy Andres and I always have Mehldau going on in my car—always, and I listen to my bandmates music too—I liked JD Allen
JD Allen

sax, tenor
's Victory CD a lot—I highly recommend that—it's got a cool swingy thing going on, and I like Ambrose too. With classic jazz I'll listen to Monk, McCoy, Miles, Coltrane, Ornette and Tatum perhaps, but for me I'd rather play classic jazz than listen—probably because of the recording quality! So I'm always playing Jelly Roll, Joplin, Robert Johnson, Basie right next to Bach and Liszt. I am interested in what I'll call "new voices," and then what I call the "original voices" on an instrument, but I'm not interested in people who are taking others ideas and just doing a version of it, or are mainly concerned with improvisational prowess over conceptual work.

The first album I bought was:
My parents were listening to B.B. King's Live at Cook County Jail and I became enthralled with that. I think because it was so expressive and I was attracted to the blues modes and bent tones. I couldn't stop listening to that album! It wasn't until many years later I realized Cook County was Chicago—certainly a blues city. My first live jazz concert was actually blues too: Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee were ancient when I saw them but I just thought they were exceptionally cool. I'm glad I was able to see and appreciate old school at a young age.

Desert Island picks:
My favorite jazz release would be hard to call, but I'd have to go with Kind of Blue like so many people. Why, why, why does that album effect so many people throughout time? It was a very special session. Of course like many others, the Getz/Gilberto always sounds good too. Of my generation, I'd have to pick Brad Mehldau's Live in Tokyo—I've heard him play many many times, but that is a great recording.


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