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was only the beginning to this part of the story...
I cannot listen to Andrew Hill’s new big band recording with out thinking of him and his band as a relatively well-behaved Sam Rivers and the Rivbea Big Band. Of course, that horribly shortchanges the 65 year-old Chicago native who’s Palmetto debut, Dusk, was considered by many critics as the best jazz recording on the year. Add to that that Blue Note’s Alfred Lion considered Hill his last great protégé and that Hill produced several ground-breaking recordings for that label in the 1960s.
A Beautiful Day
continues Hill exploration of ground-breaking jazz. Recorded during a January 24-26, 2002 stint at Birdland in New York City, A Beautiful Day showcases Hill really big band (16 pieces in all). The eight craggy compositions are Hill’s, filled with effervescence and bare restraint. Hill is the most effective guide for his own music and these performances come off perfectly. The band is made up of crack New York players, most with the same modern bent as Hill. Chief among these is drummer Nasheet Waits, Trumpeter Dave Ballou, and multireedist Mart Erhlich. Hill’s reemergence on Palmetto Records marks the welcome return of one of Jazz music’s true geniuses.
Track Listing: Divine Revelation; Faded Beauty; Belleza; 5 Mo; New Pinocchio; J Di; A Beautiful Day; 11/8. (Total Time: 79:34).
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.