by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Two questions come to mind when encountering Billy Child's intriguing, long-overdue new release. First, what exactly is jazz-chamber music"? Is the chamber music" part simply a function of adding classical instrumentation (strings, harp) or a reference to occasional resemblances to Bach and Satie and the French impressionists--or is it just a new banner flying over what used to be called the third stream"?
Then, after listening to Lyric once or twice, a second question emerges: Why should we care what ...read more
by Dan McClenaghan
Los Angeles-based pianist/composer Billy Childs mixes the intimacy of classical European sounds with the spontaneity of American jazz in a creative style he terms Jazz-Chamber Music." The instrumentation of Lyric tells its story: piano, accoustic guitar, reeds, bass and drums say jazz"; harp, flute, oboe, bassoon and a string quartet say classical."The harmonic layering that unfolds throughout--via the harp/piano/acoustic guitar mix--has an unusual and unusually lush and beautiful feeling beneath the classical colors of the ensemble. All the ...read more
by John Kelman
It's a mystery why pianist Billy Childs hasn't received the kind of widespread acceptance from the greater jazz community that he deserves. He's a versatile player with experience in a variety of contexts--mainstream work with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, contemporary post bop with vibraphonist Joe Locke, arranging, orchestrating, and conducting Dianne Reeves' The Calling: Celebrating Sarah Vaughan... even pedal-to-the-metal fusion with guitar icon Allan Holdsworth.
Childs is a mature player with the same kind of complex improvisational mind as Brad Mehldau, ...read more