Groovy, somewhat off-kilter jazz is the order of the day for the Griffith Hiltz Trio, a young Canadian band comprised of reedman Johnny Griffith, multi-instrumentalist Nathan Hiltz, and drummer Sly Juhas. One novel aspect of their music is tied into the group's instrumentation. Hiltz simultaneously plays guitar while holding down the bass lines using pedals, just like an organist would on the Hammond B-3. The trio's music is not quite the funk-fest one might surmise, given the players' youth. For the most part, the trio eschews lengthy, dissonant, open-ended compositions in favor of compact, intensely melodic creations that belie a ...read more
This band may be a trio in body, but it's so much more in spirit and sound. Guitarist Nathan Hiltz, multi-reedist Johnny Griffith and drummer Sly Juhas make up a single entity that expands and contracts at will, occasionally coming off as a legitimate sounding quintet or breaking away in various duo contexts; they completely obfuscate the very idea of the trio, and that's a wonderful thing. Hiltz is the secret weapon, contributing to the size identity crisis by tearing it up with guitar in hand, covering bass parts with foot pedals, and adding some banjo-esque banter ...read more
Canada's Griffith Hiltz Trio opens its second album, This Is What You Get..., with Strawman," which sounds like a cross between a theme song for a Secret Agent Man movie and crunchy guitar-style, 1960s-era surf rock, featuring saxophonist Johnny Griffith's crisp melody lines and drummer Sly Juhas' shuffling rhythm. Then guitarist Nathan Hiltz twangs toward an atmosphere of the movie Deliverance (1972) by plunking into a back country banjo groove. Strong sounds to open a strong recording.The Kuleshascope" blends heavy metal Black Sabbath doom with Griffith's airy--like those of saxophonist Joe Henderson--lines inside a tight rhythm. Then it's ...read more
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