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Billy Childs: Rebirth

Read "Rebirth" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

It's been a while since we've heard pianist Billy Childs really dig in. While he certainly hasn't been dormant, reaching tremendous artistic heights in semi-recent times with a pair of highly refined chamber jazz explorations and a much-lauded tribute to Laura Nyro, the Childs of yore--the man that would throw down the gauntlet night after night while in the employ of legends like trumpet titan Freddie Hubbard or trombonist J.J. Johnson--hasn't been heard from in a while. Rebirth brings that ...

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Billy Childs: Map To The Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro

Read "Map To The Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The latter day jazz community, by and large, has embraced songwriting icons from the other side of the fence. Numerous artists associated with jazz have visited in on Bob Dylan's iconic work, explored the dark soul of Tom Waits, reshaped the poetic work(s) of Leonard Cohen, and/or tapped into the Joni Mitchell well. But what of Laura Nyro? The woman behind such under-appreciated classics as “Stoned Soul Picnic," “And When I Die," “Eli's Comin,'" and “Wedding Bell Blues" has largely ...

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Billy Childs: Pushing Past Preconceptions

Read "Billy Childs: Pushing Past Preconceptions" reviewed by George Colligan

[ Editor's Note: The following interview is reprinted from George Colligan's blog, Jazztruth]Billy Childs is simply one of the baddest musicians on the planet. He's a brilliant jazz pianist, having received much acclaim as a sideman with legends as well as from being a bandleader. His Windham Hill recordings--Take For Example, This....., His April Touch and Portrait Of A Player--were a big influence on my musical tendencies.Childs has been busy for the past two decades as ...

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Billy Childs: The Perfect Picture

Read "Billy Childs: The Perfect Picture" reviewed by Esther Berlanga-Ryan

There is a somewhat-still-virgin musical territory that rests its innocent heart where classical music ends and jazz commences. Many have beautifully tiptoed on its smooth surface before, mixing, experimenting, creating and even challenging its balance with both improvised and organized notes. Music is in constant evolution, and jazz has always, in one way or another, embraced those who take each step a little further ahead every time. Taking risks makes the magic worthwhile, and the experience always promises to be ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Billy Childs at the Douglas Beach House

Read "Billy Childs at the Douglas Beach House" reviewed by Bill Leikam

Billy Childs Jazz Chamber EnsembleDouglas Beach HouseHalf Moon Bay, CAMay 2, 2010 The packed Douglas Beach House was a testament to the Billy Childs Jazz Chamber Ensemble's reputation, and moreover the performance confirmed that he and the band were well within the groove despite the group's not playing together for the preceding eight months. Childs brought with him what proprietor Pete Douglas called a band with a scary depth of talent. This afternoon on ...

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Billy Childs: Lyric

Read "Billy Childs: Lyric" reviewed by John Dworkin

Billy Childs' new recording Lyric: Jazz-Chamber Music Vol. 1 may seem a radical new direction from his previously recorded output as a jazz pianist/leader. But, somewhat under the public's marketing radar, for the last six years or so Childs has been spending much of his energy on larger scale composition, arranging, and orchestrations. While still a great pianist, his writing and conception of style/genre is possibly in the forefront of his modus operandi, and has seemingly come to a head ...

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Billy Childs Ensemble: Lyric: Jazz-Chamber Music Vol. 1

Read "Lyric: Jazz-Chamber Music Vol. 1" reviewed by Renato Wardle

Since its birth, the world of jazz has been at odds with the realm of classical music. Owing to the presupposition that these two musical worlds are possessed of an incongruent aesthetic, a fusion between them may seem impossible. However, Lyric shows that music is music. With the first installment of his new Jazz-Chamber Music series, pianist Billy Childs fuses elements of jazz and classical music into a convincing, seamless whole.

The merging of jazz and classical music ...

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Billy Childs: Bedtime Stories: A Tribute To Herbie Hancock

Read "Bedtime Stories: A Tribute To Herbie Hancock" reviewed by AAJ Staff

With Todd Barkan now at the helm of 32 Jazz, West Coast jazz musicians are receiving more attention, what with the label releasing new CD’s by under-recorded and vastly talented pianists Denny Zeitlin and Billy Childs, among other musicians with a West Coast presence. With the jazz press concentrated in New York and to a lesser extent in Chicago, Childs’ lack of visibility and his diligence in orchestrating projects like Dianne Reeves’ new album, The Calling: Celebrating Sarah Vaughan, have ...

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Billy Childs Trio: Bedtime Stories

Read "Bedtime Stories" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

These days, piano trio-based recordings are sprouting faster than weeds growing out of concrete; however, the highly respected pianist Billy Childs breathes renewed life into a set dedicated to pianist/composer Herbie Hancock, titled Bedtime Stories – A Tribute to Herbie Hancock. And along with the ace rhythm section of bassist George Mraz and drummer Billy Hart, the leader supplements this impassioned date with a soul-funk version of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine”, along with stylish renditions of Sting’s “Fragile”, Wayne ...

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Billy Childs/Buster Williams/Carl Allen: Skim Coat

Read "Skim Coat" reviewed by Ed Kopp

Skim Coat brings together three highly compatible players: Billy Childs (piano), Buster Williams (bass) and Carl Allen (drums). It’s a thoughtful but accessible modern jazz album--the perfect accompaniment to a pot of coffee and the Sunday newspaper.Metropolitan Records owner Stan Chovnick recruited this trio on the strength of its performance at a 1998 jazz educators conference in New York. A year later the educators were still buzzing about the band's appearance in the Big Apple, and it's easy ...