“Getaway” Deepens the Mystery of Lisa Hilton

Tracks: Getaway; Just For Fun; Stormy Monday Blues; Stepping Into Paradise; Evening Song; City Streets; Lost & Found; Emergency; Turning Tables; Unforgotten; Stop & Go; Slow Down; Huckleberry Moon.
Personnel: Lisa Hilton: piano; Larry Grenadier: bass; Nasheet Waits: drums

There comes a time in every composer’s existence when all factors of education, practice, and development meet at the crossroads to create a career changing effort. For pianist Lisa Hilton her crossroads emerged within her new 2013 project Getaway. Self produced, this collection of extraordinary simple yet complex compositions, reflects on years of in depth scrutiny into the innermost sense for her craft. As an educator she produces what she teaches, with an unrelenting passion. As a composer, Hilton develops homegrown rhythms, which stir within the most complex arrangements. Finally as a pianist, the hypotonic management of the ivory staircase takes each performance
to a new and uncharted territory. All this makes Lisa Hilton a mystery that should never be solved, just simply appreciated.

Getaway embraces all but two originals from Hilton. “Stormy Monday Blues” (Hines/Eckstine/Crowder) and “Turning Tables” (Adkins/Tedder) which are beyond doubt, arranged precisely in the way the originators would adopt.

Upon reviewing this project I stated to Hilton that I believe she hit a new level in composition and innovation with Getaway. Could she explain that? Her response was simple yet typically Hilton-esque. Hilton stated, “I have reached a greater confidence in my compositional ideas, and it is always the ideas that drive art.” Then she surprisingly elaborated, “My ideas now have more clarity.” Clarity that can be obtained only by the most prodigious technicians of jazz…

This project contains numerous cuts that express the soul and nature of Hilton and her elegant yet demanding approach to the keys. Cuts like “City Streets” and “Evening Song” engage the listener into a world all their own, differing from ear to ear with frisky energy from the classic trio’s psyche. The intro cut “Getaway” launches the disks atmosphere in the same way as “Huckleberry Moon” closes the project with an exquisite balance of serenity and a romantic authority. This is a trademark of a Hilton project…Welcome to the Hilton’s Fellowship of Mystical Mastery…
Hilton offers a different look to her talent in several ways with this new project. One that is obvious to fans is that she is working with a trio now versus her usual quartet. In studio with her is long-time partners bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Nasheet Waits, both offer her the foundation to engage in this revivalist change in attitude and style, if only for this spin. It’s truly an amazing to explore these three and their exploits in studio, tendering the fans a dramatic richness to the jazzy/bluesy feel of Getaway.

With Getaway it has never been a question of “like”, it has been an appreciation of what new level has Hilton reached. In each of her past works Hilton seems to expand on talent, compositional expertise, and eclectic direction. Many times I listen to artists who fall into an atmosphere of mediocrity, doing and sounding the same as their past works. Hilton avoids such issues. That is why there is a mystery about her. Her talent reaches for something different every studio session. For a critic like myself, it makes me work harder and dig deeper. For the fan, it makes them become loyal to her sound. Ms. Hilton never allows the listener to become complacent, they always anticipate her next project.

Keep it Tuned….


Karl Stober