Cynthia Hilts came from New York for a year's stint as artist in residence at the Montana Artists Refuge. This features music she wrote while working and living in the Big Sky State. The music embraces a wide range of styles including jazz, funk, folk and new music used in varying harmonic settings feelings of sadness, joy, agony and humor. When in New York, Hilts formed the Lyric Fury Ensemble to play her original compositions, mostly avant-garde in structure.
Hilts plays piano on all and sings on most of the tracks. She pokes fun at modern music on "Faith and the Mash" where Faith is urged not to play the piano in "clumps" but "play us a sweet melody". The music matches the words as the piano alternates between discordant and sweet chords. The tune ends in a tumult of sound leaving one to conclude that Faith likes playing in clumps. There's more humor in "A Heifer on Capitalist Ave". a narration of a cow's reactions to its first visit to Big Apple's Fifth Ave. Ruminative feelings come into play on the title tune featuring the probing lyrical guitar of Ben White. Funk arrives with "Porch Tune" as White's guitar turns smeary and M. J. Williams contributes both Jack Teagarden like trombone and backup vocals. "Greengrass Forest" a serious conversation between Hilts' jagged pianism, Brad Edwards' lyrical drumming and M. J. Williams' modern sounding trombone counterbalanced by White's straight ahead guitar making this one of the session's more compelling cuts.
If Montana's clean, fresh air and wide open spaces inspires as it obviously did Hilt, more urban jazz musicians "Go West...". The lyrics are printed in the liner of this recommended album.
Track Listing: A Rock's Line; A Heifer on Capitalist Ave.; Love Song for a Mountain; Faith and the Mash; Elk Bones; Stars Down to the Ground; Greengrass Forest; Hounding; Joe, I'm Leaving; Porch Tune
Personnel: Cynthia Hilts - Piano/Vocals; M. J. Williams - Trombone/Vocals; Ben White - Guitar; Mike Carey - Bass; Brad Edwards - Drums
| Record Label: Montana Artists Refuge
| Style: Vocal
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.