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Pianist Lisa Hilton Releases More Than Another Day with Rudy Royston and Luques Curtis on Ruby Slippers Productions

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It’s a sophisticated, yet engagingly accessible sound that brings to mind the classic work of artists like Vince Guaraldi, Dave Brubeck and Ramsey Lewis… swinging acoustic jazz.
—Matt Collar, All Music Guide
Lisa Hilton
More Than Another Day (Ruby Slippers Productions) is the latest release from composer / pianist / producer, Lisa Hilton. Hilton and her longstanding band mates: Rudy Royston on drums, and Luques Curtis on bass, as well as JD Allen on tenor saxophone, had just finished the first half of their tour for their 2020 album, Chalkboard Destiny, when the corona virus forced a shut down of the tour, and of course a lockdown in the U.S. Grounded and worried for a relative stuck and sick in Italy, Hilton did what she’s always done: “I have always turned to my creativity in difficult times. I think it’s how I process what is happening in our world.” As for the effects of the lockdown? “I grew up in a small town where nothing ever seemed to happen. Creative projects flourish in “down” times—I think quiet propels creativity.”

More Than Anther Day opens up with the title track showcasing the creative range of Hilton and her trio. Seamlessly moving through diverse rhythmic ideas, genres and eras, Royston and Curtis provide stellar additions to Hilton’s nine compositions and one cover tune. The trio powers through the upbeat and swinging “Retro Road Trip." With its groovy riffs, this might just be the feel good track you’ve been waiting for. “Secret Beach," “Karma Chaos" and Cole Porter’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin," all exude refreshing Latin ideas. “Blues & Beauty" captures the moods we’ve been encountering this year with Hilton’s expressive and bluesy piano, but also surprises the listener with serenity and beauty as well. The ballads, “No Sleep Until…," “Today I Looked At Love" and “So This Is Love" give the album a rich balance of emotions and harmonic colors as well. If you listen carefully, you can pick up Hilton’s range of style influences—Antonio Carlos Jobim and Count Basie perhaps, but also Bill Evans comes to mind. This is music for today, for this year, and of course, for More Than Another Day.

About Lisa Hilton

Lisa Kristine Hilton is a distinctive composer of jazz, as well as an acclaimed pianist. Growing up in a small town on California’s central coast, she originally taught herself to play piano with a colored keyboard guide, writing her first simple songs around six years, before beginning studies in classical and twentieth century music starting at the age of eight. In college she switched majors from music and graduated instead with a degree in art. Hilton’s art background informs her compositions: she describes “painting” compositions using improvisation, and harmony or “sculpting” with constantly changing rhythmic ideas from different cultures. Hilton’s music draws on classical traditions, and twentieth century modernists as well as classic American jazz greats such as Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, and Horace Silver, as well as blues heroes Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson. A prolific and passionate composer as well as an accomplished producer, Hilton has recorded about 300 tracks. In the book, The New Face of Jazz: An Intimate Look at Today’s Living Legends and Artists of Tomorrow by Cicly Janus, it states that Hilton has been “compared to some of the best pianists in history.”

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz.
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