All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

2

Theo Hill: Interstellar Adventures

Mike Jurkovic By

Sign in to view read count
Hot on the heels of his heralded 2017 effort Promethean, the five covers and five originals on his latest Interstellar Adventures serve as rousing calling-cards for Theo Hill as he continues his steady, determined ascent into the contemporary ranks of vital and inspired jazz pianists.

With the exciting, percussive talents of bassist Rashaan Carter and drummer Rudy Royston seemingly joined at the hip with the leader, the opening title-track is an enticing, melodic reverie in the standard trio vein; throughout the tune's delicious five-plus minutes, it brings to the fore Hill's deep understanding of melody and how to build tension and release within it. Tony Williams' energetic, Miles' Quintet-era "Black Comedy" jumps early and often, its stop-start arrangement perfectly suited to Carter & Royston's lengthy CVs. Hill highlights it all here, his adventurous right hand holding and jettisoning William's punchy melody, while his left explores a harder edge. "Retrograde" finds Hill on electric piano for some snappy, poppy swing. Royston is essential here, percolating behind the leader like those old Return to Forever days.

Two of the lengthier cuts, "The Comet" and "Gyre,"—both Hill originals—shine more light on the pianist's many strengths, nuance and assured tonality among them. "The Comet" is all percussion, Hill's left hitting as hard as Royston, with Carter driving both onward. "Gyre," like "Interstellar Adventures," starts with a strong melodic interlude before giving way to full-throttle trio interplay. The trio rolls truthfully on Jan Hammer's "Thorn of a White Rose," giving a far-less cluttered rendering here than the excessive mid-70's fusion provided the song originally. Mulgrew Miller's "For Those Who Do," taken at a languid pace, serves to reveal Hill's quiet, old-school tendencies for romantic flair. With Hill back on his electric piano, this exciting session closes with his restive "Enchanted Forest," giving the listener a quiet moment to take in all that's been heard, before pressing repeat play.

Track Listing: Interstellar Adventures; Black Comedy; Retrograde; Cyclic Episode; The Comet; Gyre; Thorn of a White Rose; Revelations; For Those Who Do; Enchanted Forest

Personnel: Theo Hill - acoustic and electric piano; Rashaan Carter - acoustic and electric bass; Rudy Royston - drums and percussion

Title: Interstellar Adventures | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Posi-Tone Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Interstellar Adventures

Interstellar...

Posi-Tone Records
2018

buy
Promethean

Promethean

Posi-Tone Records
2017

buy

Related Articles

Read A New Beginning CD/LP/Track Review
A New Beginning
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 23, 2018
Read Onyx Noir - Jazz Works For Brass Quintet CD/LP/Track Review
Onyx Noir - Jazz Works For Brass Quintet
by Gareth Thompson
Published: June 23, 2018
Read Triad CD/LP/Track Review
Triad
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 23, 2018
Read Sketches of American Music CD/LP/Track Review
Sketches of American Music
by Doug Collette
Published: June 23, 2018
Read Three Pictures CD/LP/Track Review
Three Pictures
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 23, 2018
Read Alive In The East? CD/LP/Track Review
Alive In The East?
by Chris May
Published: June 22, 2018
Read "Live in Solothurn" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Solothurn
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 12, 2018
Read "Gleb Kolyadin" CD/LP/Track Review Gleb Kolyadin
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 22, 2018
Read "64:38 Radio Full Liv(f)e" CD/LP/Track Review 64:38 Radio Full Liv(f)e
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 25, 2017
Read "Everybody Loves Angels" CD/LP/Track Review Everybody Loves Angels
by Henning Bolte
Published: October 26, 2017
Read "Dirt...And More Dirt" CD/LP/Track Review Dirt...And More Dirt
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 22, 2018
Read "Esperanto/Toca Antonio Carlos Jobim" CD/LP/Track Review Esperanto/Toca Antonio Carlos Jobim
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 13, 2018