Weldon Hill | Free Expression

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Free Expression

by Weldon Hill

A classic Jazz Trio - Dr. Weldon Hill on Piano, Mike Hawkins on Bass, and Billy Williams on Drums. This is REAL Jazz! The kind of music you get lost in. Cast your cares to the wind and relax your spirit. A CD you're sure to enjoy if you appreciate JAZZ.
Genre: Jazz: Mainstream Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Thyrio (The Horse You Rode in On)
5:45 $0.99
2. Manteca
4:05 $0.99
3. Melancholy Serenade / One Less Bell to Answer (feat. Desiree Roots & James Saxsmo Gates)
7:17 $0.99
4. Good for the Soul
8:07 $0.99
5. What Is This Thing Called... Love?
8:20 $0.99
6. No One Else
7:07 $0.99
7. All of You
6:42 $0.99
8. Blues for the Weary Traveler
9:45 $0.99
9. What a Friend
10:46 $0.99
10. A Shade of Jade
4:06 $0.99
11. Izee
5:07 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
For a very long time, I have thought about and envisioned writing the music for, rehearsing, and time in the studio toward the release of this recording. I have called it Free Expression, honoring the thinking of the incomparable Edward Kennedy ‘Duke’ Ellington, who rejected the label ‘jazz’, preferring to characterize his own music as that which embodied ‘freedom of expression’. Conceptually, the foundations of this recording are the style to which we refer as ‘Swing’ (from the 1930s) and space—the interplay between sound and silence that allows each musician to participate in the dialogue with full liberty and profundity. And so, we express our individual and corporate emotions, thinking, and musicianship; with grateful hearts, we offer this music to those for whom it may have meaning or give some pleasure.

The music on this record represents memories of places and times in my own life, inspired by those whom I have encountered in many ways. I am a child of the 1960s, and I was captivated by the music from the television talk shows andsituation comedies of that era, all of which seem to have had their own big bands and striking theme music. Jackie Gleason’s theme from The Honeymooners—Melancholy Serenade—and the Fifth Dimension singing One Less Bell to Answer were two of my favorites. Much of my musical influence comes from the songs I heard as a child at the Good Shepherd Baptist Church (Richmond, Virginia) and from Grandmother’s Praying Band fervently singing in her living room, so we swing What a Friend We Have in Jesus the way they did. I listened to, and was captivated by, the recordings of Count Basie, Cannonball Adderly, Nancy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte, Sarah Vaughn, and Oscar Peterson, all of which were in our home when I was child.The totality of these influences have resulted in my reverence for the blues and its urbane, unabashed rawness which move me like no other genre—hence the blues songs and sounds on this disc—most pointedly in Mike Hawkins’ Blues for the Weary Traveler; my own Thyrio (and acronym for ‘the horse you rode in on’). The treatments of traditional so-named ‘jazz standards’ and some newer music are our experiments with extended form, alternative chord progressions, rhythmic styles, and melodic excursions (All of You, A Shade of Jade, Good for the Soul, What is this Thing Called. . . .Love?,[sic] and Manteca).

There are some special original songs, the first of which is Mike Hawkins’ Izee—for his Mother. Most importantly, this entire project is dedicated to my Mother, Deloris Rebecca Sturdavant Hill who made certain that I had every opportunity to realize my heart’s desires and whom I love and cherish like No One Else—the song in special tribute to her.

The Weldon Hill Trio is Weldon Hill - Piano, Michael K. Hawkins - Double Bass, and Billy Williams - Drums.

Thank you for your support.

W. Weldon Hill



to write a review

Bill McGee

Piano Jazz and much more
This CD Free Expression by Weldon Hill is as fine a debut CD as any artist could aspire to have. The trio having played together for years is relaxed and at the same time intense. They have that communication thing going on that makes Jazz such a unique art form. Weldon is a superb Pianist, blessed with outstanding technique (chops) yet he plays with so much style and grace, Mike is a bass player who can go hard and forceful, but shows so much sensitivity to the music, and Billy Williams is amazing (a young Max Roach) his playing sings melodies and embraces the piano and bass like a big hug. I came to this project late but was called on to have some input towards the end. I was mesmerized from the first note. This is such a versatile CD, yet it stays in the pocket. While Weldon named it Free Expression there is nothing Avante Garde about this CD, save his arrangement of One Less Bell masterfully sung by Desiree Roots and played by 804Jazz label mate James "Saxsmo" Gates. This CD is solid Jazz, Swing, Bop, Cool, Straight, it has a variety of flavors based on the different compositions. Having listened to it at least twenty (20) times I can't identify a favorite song because I love them all... If I had to claim a song or two it would be Donald Harrison's "Good For The Soul" and Weldon's arrangement of "What a Friend...", however, maybe I would say Mike Hawkins original "Izee" or the Dizzy track "Manteca"... I can't make up my mind because I really love this entire CD. I am sure you will feel the same way too... Hey, did anyone say this was Weldon's debut as a solo artist? What a GREAT debut. Five Stars Weldon Hill, Mike Hawkins and Billy Williams.... 804Jazz is on the roll baby!

Zoe Spencer

A phenomenal work of art!!! Definitely an intricately woven compilation that expresses Hill's mastery and versatility as a musician with a vision and an exceptional pianist! Each song expresses different levels of emotion and energy that allow the listener to have a variety of experiences within one CD which makes it so unique. The unity that exists with the trio will certainly have you bobbing your head in the pockets with them and take you back to a place in and time where music was all that mattered and music was really music- REAL AUTHENTIC music-that was made from the love of the art. Tracks 3 and 8 are definitely my favorite expressions. The CD "Free Expression" is aptly titled and a must have for jazz enthusiasts and anyone who just appreciates good music.