Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012 8:00 PM EDT
Scullers Jazz Club, Boston, MA
"Lisa Hilton has been compared to some of the best pianists in history, such as Bill Evans and Brad Mehldau..." Cicily Janus
Lisa Hilton is driven to compose. While she plays at the highest level, the driving force of her art is inside her superbly dynamic compositions. They surge with ideas, and emotion. Hilton refers to her instrument, the piano, as her true “voice” – the way she
speaks and connects. “When I play, I’m communicating our world through the notes,” Hilton muses.
Her compositions – rich in blues inflections and soul – make precise use of harmony and rhythm, welcoming audiences into a unique exchange between composer and listener, a human intersection where magic happens. The result is a fresh sound that is evocative, smart, engaging and infused with a 21st century sensibility. Hilton says, “I feel very strongly that this generation of jazz artists will create a body of work that will become the classics of the future.”
Listeners and critics far and wide agree and applaud her skill and range as a composer and pianist. Hilton is variously described as “pensive and impressionistic,” “elegant, warm and passionate,” and even “diabolically seductive.” Her 2011 Underground recording prompted one expert to opine, “She's joined the ranks of her own contemporary heroes," while JazzReview succinctly dubbed her “The Lioness of Jazz.”
Born in a small town on the central Californian coast, Hilton first taught herself to play and compose simple pieces before starting formal education in classical and twentieth century piano literature at the age of eight. She drew inspiration from stories about her great uncle, Willem Bloemendaal, an early 20th century Dutch piano virtuoso. Hilton never missed a chance to play, providing piano accompaniment to school chorus and theatre productions, playing flute in band, and composing blues riffs as a teen.