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Album Review

Lisa Hilton: Life is Beautiful


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Lisa Hilton: Life is Beautiful
There's an affirmation of goodness to the music of pianist Lisa Hilton, a quiet something of a positive nature that is known intrinsically true. But the world and its crowded barges of babbling talking heads are frantically convincing us all otherwise. So listen in to Life Is Beautiful before it's all too late.

Without flash, pyrotechnic soloing, or virtuoso histrionics, Life is Beautiful casts an aura that envelops and holds. Intimately reworking tunes she has recorded throughout her twenty-five disc history, ("Seduction" reaches back to her 1997 debut) the music drops from the ether with the husky fullness of bassist Luques Curtis, and the restive blues of Ernie Wilkins' "Ernie's Blues" sweeps the dust away. Rudy Royston's drums are, as ever, perfect. It is a synthesis, an intent, too will better things into being. It works.

Not in any way to distract from the golden hues of the four tracks that precede it, but the finespun grace of "Unforgotten Moments, Half Forgotten Dream" (its big sky and pacific sun) sets off a suite-like approach for the rest of the album that absolutely enthralls. The vaporous way it rolls into the Latin light of "Stepping Into Paradise," then into the quiet gravity of "Santa Monica Samba, re-framed from 2021's Transparent Sky (Ruby Slippers Productions), before slide saddling solo with the redemptive "Seduction," "Temporary Lullaby" and "More Than Another Day" only doubles down on the trio's deep resolve.

As she often and gracefully does, Hilton quietly delves into the emotional health of every listener with the sincerest desire to soothe the frenzy within. Life Is Beautiful does just that. And maybe it will or won't land on most or many 'best-of' lists, but it is a thing of beauty. A category all its own.

Track Listing

Ernie's Blues; Retro Road Trip; Nightingales and Fairy Tales; Too Hot; Unforgotten Moments, Half Forgotten Dreams; Stepping Into Paradise: Santa Monica Samba; Seduction; Temporary Lullaby; More Than Another Day; So This Is Love.


Lisa Hilton: piano; Luques Curtis: bass, acoustic; Rudy Royston: drums.

Album information

Title: Life is Beautiful | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Ruby Slippers Productions

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