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Lisa Hilton | American Impressions

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Bill Evans Brad Mehldau Duke Ellington

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United States - California

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Jazz: Cool Jazz Blues: Jazzy Blues Moods: Instrumental
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American Impressions

by Lisa Hilton

As American composers Gershwin, Copland and others have done, Hilton creates musical impressions of everyday life in America – everything from subways to rain. Hilton's band is stacked with some of the greatest jazz players today in this upbeat disc.
Genre: Jazz: Cool Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Too Hot
4:36 $0.99
2. Anatomy of the Blues
3:56 $0.99
3. When It Rains
4:34 $0.99
4. Subway
3:46 $0.99
5. Accidental Romance
3:51 $0.99
6. Rainy Night House
3:58 $0.99
7. Waterfall
4:14 $0.99
8. Slow Down
3:05 $0.99
9. Underground
4:20 $0.99
10. Echoes of Harlem
4:34 $0.99
11. Don't Stop
2:59 $0.99
12. American Suite
5:28 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"An incredible offering. One of the years best" CriticalJazz.com March/20/2012

"The musical symmetry and oneness is surreal. Hilton's compositions require a kindred spirit that understands the essence of the music. It is complex, yet full of rhythmic joy. It keeps me smiling" Bubba Jackson/KKJZ

"Cool school. Solid stuff. A well thought out and well played date" The Midwest Record

"An impressive disc. Hilton displays remarkable creativity" George Harris/The Jazz Messenger

"It's a WINNER!!!!!!!!!!" Dot Nielson/WCNI

"American Impressions - perfect title by one of the best players in the business, Lisa Hilton captures "American Landscapes" of feeling, sound, sight and touch in such an incredibly straight-ahead and beautiful way. Brilliant. Extra-special. Whew! 'Nuff said'." Hugh Carson/KVNF

"Hilton has a very potent soundtrack touch in her composing that gives her music a panoramic texture. Her approach captures Americana while it is not looking, resulting in a satisfying product.... With artistic sincerity and emotional depth." C Michael Bailey/All About Jazz



to write a review

Raj Manoharan (www.rajmanreviews.blogspot.com)

The RajMan Review
Accomplished and versatile jazz pianist Lisa Hilton extends her extensive discography with this lively collection of ten originals and two classics, inspired by the American experience.

Hilton is joined once again by her band members from her previous release: J.D. Allen on saxophone, Larry Grenadier on bass, and Nasheet Waits on drums. This is my second time hearing this band on record, and they are a tight, solid unit. Although Hilton is the primary composer and bandleader, she fits right in and sounds like one of the players. Her piano is still the focus, but the other instruments are just as important to the mix. While each performer has his or her unique style and sound, all of them think and feel and flow as one.

The compositions are dynamic and engaging, demonstrating musical acumen and yet loosening up with quirky playfulness. The covers of Joni Mitchell’s “Rainy Night House” and Duke Ellington’s “Echoes of Harlem” are in line creatively and musically with the original tunes, which is a testament to Hilton’s masterful writing.

This is a fine addition to Hilton’s catalogue and a worthy tribute to the diversity that is America.


I have yet to listen to this album. I am a straight female but just wanted to come on here to say how stunningly beautiful Lisa is, presuming that is her on the front cover. What a stunner!

Michael Diamond (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)

Review excerpt from Music & Media Focus
In the galaxy of contemporary jazz piano, one of the brightest stars to shine is Lisa Hilton. The highly regarded publication JazzReview even referred to her as “The Lioness Of Jazz.” Over the years, Lisa, whose musical brilliance has been compared to Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, Oscar Peterson, and George Shearing, has surrounded herself with some of the top players in jazz, and this project is no exception. Her band members are all Downbeat Critic’s Choice award winners with extensive music industry credits.

One of the outstanding features of Lisa’s music is its diversity. The album reflects an ever-changing spectrum of styles, moods, and influences. A good example of this is on “When It Rains,” which opens with cascading piano arpeggios, washes of cymbal, and the textural percussion of brushes on drums, before evolving into a light melody with lovely liquid piano notes raining over cello-like bowed bass. This is one of Lisa’s more impressionistic pieces, and one of my favorites - although it could be said that there is fair amount of impressionism in her playing in general.

Things shift quickly to another track on the next piece entitled “Subway.” With its fast pace and urgent sense of forward motion, it perfectly captures the vibe under the streets in a city like New York. As might be expected, this is one of the edgier compositions, and is a wild ride – hang on. Then, providing a perfect breather, is “Accidental Romance,” a laid back bluesy number, perhaps influenced by Lisa’s long time love for artists like Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, etc, although in a jazzier, more free flowing style than the standard 12 bar blues. An intriguing choice for a cover tune is an instrumental interpretation of Joni Mitchell's “Rainy Night House.” This is a whole other piece of Americana and a welcome addition to the patchwork quilt this album represents. In Lisa’s words: “As an American composer and pianist, I embrace or reference our great traditional music: jazz, blues, minimalism, Americana, and our songbook of standards, in a way that is embedded in the twenty-first century.”

For a full-length review of this CD, please visit: www.michaeldiamondmusic.com