369

Andrew Hill: Change

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Andrew Hill: Change
Completed only five months after Compulsion (Blue Note, 1965), pianist Andrew Hill's creative free-form breakthrough, this quartet session was recorded, edited, titled and cataloged, but never officially released under his own name. Unceremoniously shelved at the time, like a number of recent reissues documenting Hill's more experimental 1960s work, the six principle cuts were eventually issued under Sam Rivers' name as Involution (Blue Note, 1976). The two alternate takes were included in The Complete Blue Note Andrew Hill Sessions 1963-1966 (Mosaic, 1995).

Available for the first time in its entirety, the aptly title Change is a rich and complex collection reflecting the gradual shift in Hill's writing from advanced traditional structures to outré forms. One of the finest avant-garde Blue Note titles, it is representative of the then burgeoning inside-outside aesthetic embraced by fellow label-mates Sam Rivers, Cecil Taylor, Grachan Moncur III and Jackie McLean.

The quartet immediately demonstrates their intense rapport and compelling interaction on "Violence," the turbulent, labyrinthine opener. Drummer J.C. Moses unleashes torrents of spitfire percussion, while Sam Rivers spews bristling, circuitous fragments on tenor. Hill's singular contributions are cerebral and abstract, but also soulful, churning with propulsive energy. Bassist Walter Booker delivers a monolithic bass solo in the eye of the storm, as Hill quietly accompanies him with brittle harpsichord clusters.

The jaunty "Illusion" deconstructs a montuno form with irreverent charm, while "Hope" intensifies from somber reflection to roiling vigor over a bustling waltz rhythm. The foreboding "Desire" blends a mid-tempo 5/4 cadence with focused deliberation and searing lyricism.

Unveiling a genteel side, "Pain" and "Lust" are restrained trio excursions. The curiously titled, "Pain" works a light-hearted Monkish vibe, showcasing brilliant bass work from Booker, while "Lust" is downright romantic.

The alternate takes provide further insight into the quartet's working methods. "Violence" is compact and intense, while "Desire" is brisk and assertive.

Knotty, jagged and abstruse, Hill's music from this period can be difficult for mainstream listeners, but yields great rewards. A fascinating document in the discography of one of the most important jazz composers of the twentieth century, Change is an essential reissue.

Track Listing

Violence; Pain; Illusion; Hope; Lust; Desire; Violence (alt. tk.); Desire (alt. tk.).

Personnel

Andrew Hill: piano, harpsichord; Sam Rivers: tenor saxophone; Walter Booker: bass; J.C. Moses: drums.

Album information

Title: Change | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Transformation
Glenn Close/Ted Nash
Special Edition: Procedural Language
Ivo Perelman & Matthew Shipp
Ever Since The World Ended
Lauren White and the Quinn Johnson Trio
Rah! Rah!
Claire Daly
Summer Water
Scott DuBois
Nox
Nate Wooley / Liudas Mockunas / Barry Guy /...
Phoenix
Vasko Atanasovski

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.