Born: June 30, 1937 | Died: April 20, 2007 Primary Instrument: Piano
Over nearly half a century, composer-pianist-ensemble leader Andrew Hill gained international jazz renown for his uniquely original music and recorded ouevre, which is by turns dark, fragile, funny, stark, unforgettably tuneful, percussive, insightful, oblique, transparent and mysterious. With the release of Dusk (Palmetto Records), his first album in ten years, Hill reaches another peak, equaling high points of composition and collaboration he achieved in the 1960s with such innovators as Eric Dolphy, Kenny Dorham, John Gilmore, Roy Haynes, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Elvin Jones, Sam Rivers, Tony Williams and Reggie Workman, most often commissioned by Blue Note Records.
A folio of songs for sextet loosely inspired by Cane, Jean Toomer's classic volume of stories and poems published during the Harlem Renaissance, Dusk features Hill's New Point of Departure Sextet of virtuosi and the mature vision of an artist who has always flourished just beyond fame's spotlight, the better to see, hear, feel and create without its insistent glare. At age 63, Hill is especially gratified that there's plentiful new interest in his impeccable, elusive music -- his teasing, just-beyond-grasp lyricism, his improvisations that simulate processes of thought, his themes that come together as naturally as night falls towards the end of a long day.
Hill was born in Chicago (despite mistaken information which prevailed for years that he arrived there in early childhood with his parents from Port au Prince, Haiti), raised in the heart of that city's black South Side, and discovered playing accordion and tapdancing outside his neighborhood's nightclubs and theaters by the great Earl Fatha Hines, who liked what he heard and told young Andrew, I should be your master. Stan Kenton's arranger- trombonist Bill Russo also encouraged Hill, and introduced him to German composer-music theorist-in-exile Paul Hindemith, who corrected the notation of the youth's nascent yet intriguing compositional style.
Hill began gigging in 1952, and in the summer of '53 accompanied alto saxophonist Charlie Parker at the Greystone Ballroom, in Detroit. In the mid '50s he rehearsed with Miles Davis, worked with Dinah Washington and Coleman Hawkins, then organized his own trio and recorded So In Love, his debut (featuring bassist Malachi Favors, a founder of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and drummer James Slaughter) in 1955.
Upon moving to New York in 1961, Hill performed with Rahsaan Roland Kirk before being contracted as a leader by Alfred Lyons, the founder of Blue Note Records who proclaimed Hill his last great protegé at the 1986 Mount Fuji Festival celebrating Blue Note's legacy. Hill's Blue Note sessions from November, 1963 through March '66 were released as the albums Black Fire, Smokestack, Judgement, Point of Departure, Andrew!, Compulsion, One For One and Involution and are compiled in the seven-CD boxed set The Complete Blue Note Andrew Hill Sessions (1963-66) on Mosaic Records. Hill returned to Blue Note in 1989 and '90 to record Eternal Spirit and But Not Farewell, both of which featured saxophonist Greg Osby, and again late in '99 as a guest on Osby's album The Invisible Hand. He also released albums on the Arista-Freedom and Black Saint/Soul Note labels during the '70s and '80s, but spent most of those years (until the death of his wife Laverne in 1989) on the West Coast, offering solo concerts, classes and workshops in prisons, social service and academic settings, also playing occasionally at international fests.
Hill was a tenure-track associate professor of music at Portland State University, established its successful Summer Jazz Intensive, and has performed, conducted workshops and/or attended residencies at Wesleyan University, University of Michigan, University of Toronto, Harvard University and Bennington College. But in the past five years, since re-marrying and relocating (for love, as he says) to New York City environs, he has been rediscovered by a new generation of reverent musicians, jazz aficionados and general yet generously appreciative audiences.
Hill's New Point of Departure Sextet, named for one of his best-known Blue Note albums, was convened for the Texaco Jazz Festival of 1998 at the suggestion of Michael Dorf of the Knitting Factory, with advice from James Brown of the club Sweet Basil; the New York Times, calling Hill one of the 1960's jazz heroes, said the sextet's first concert was a triumphant return. The sextet has since held weeklong engagements at New York's Jazz Standard and Birdland, and performed memorably at Lincoln Center Out of Doors in summer 1999. Besides Hill at the piano, its members include saxophonists Marty Ehrlich (a veteran downtowner and musical associate of Muhal Richard Abrams, Julius Hemphill, Wayne Horvitz and John Zorn, among others) and Greg Tardy (a new but already much-in- demand tenor soloist), trumpeter Rod Horton (a stalwart of the Jazz Composers Alliance), backbone bassist Scott Colley and drummer Billy Drummond, one of the most imaginative of post-bop swingers.
Hill has performed at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, opening the World Music Institute's Interpretations series, and also concertized at the Studio Museum of Harlem. Columbia University's WKCR-FM has broadcast Hill's entire discography (lasting more than 50 hours), and in 1997, for his 60th birthday, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jazz Foundation of America.
Source: Howard Mandel
|6/6/2006||Andrew Hill Pax Connoisseur Reissue||Blue Note CD 58297: Joe Chambers, drums; Richard Davis, bass; Joe Henderson, tenor sax, Freddie Hubbard, trumpet; Andrew Hill, piano. Recorded in early 1965 and originally released as part of a double LP in 1975 and later in the Mosiac boxset.|
|2/4/2006||Andrew Hill Time Lines||Blue Note CD Andrew Hill: piano; Charles Tolliver: trumpet; Greg Tardy: tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet; John Herbert: bass; Eric McPherson: drums. 8 new compositions.|
|10/4/2005||Andrew Hill Nefertiti||Test of Time Records: February 26, 1975|
|7/12/2005||Andrew Hill Blue Black||Test of Time Records: CD reissue from January 25, 1976, Recorded on January 25, 1976 at The Vanguard Studios in New York, with Richard Davis on bass and Roger Blank on drums. Engineered and produced by David Baker.|
|10/4/2004||Andrew Hill ANDREW!||(Reissue) Blue Note CD ...1964 quintet session features John Gilmore, Bobby Hutcherson, Richard Davis and Joe Chambers.|
|10/5/2004||Andrew Hill Dance with Death||(Reissue) Blue Note CD ...1968 quintet session of inventive post hard bop with Joe Farrell, Charles Tolliver, Victor Sproles and Billy Higgins...|
|2003||Andrew Hill JAZZPAR Octet + 1 The Day the World Stood Still||(Reissue) JAZZPAR, Various live recordings in Denmark and Sweden in 2003. more info »|
|10/7/2003||Andrew Hill Passing Ships||(Reissue) Blue Note CD This amazing 1969 nonet session, released here for the first time, features spectacular writing by Hill that presages his current big band...|
|8/01/2002||Andrew Hill Big Band A Beautiful Day||Palmetto CD 2085
Recorded live at birdland in NYC.
|2/13/2001||Andrew Hill Lift Every Voice|| Blue Note- Limited Edition Reissue
It's one of the true few gems in the post-Alfred Lion Blue Note era.
|2001||Andrew Hill Les Trinitaires||Jazz Friends JFP CD-002 (fr) - Recorded live at the Trinitaires, Metz Feb 10 & 11 1998|
|5/16/2000||Andrew Hill Dusk||Palmetto CD - Greg Tardy alto sax, Andrew Hill piano, Ron Horton bass, Billy Drummond drums, Marty Ehrlich - Read the liner notes by Howard Mandel|
|2/29/2000||Greg Osby Invisible Hand||Blue Note CD 20134 - Greg Osby alto sax, Andrew Hill piano, Scott Colley bass, Terri Lyne Carrington drums, Gary Thomas t-sax/flute, Jim Hall guitar|
|2/15/2000||Andrew Hill Grass Roots||Blue Note - Limited Edition, reissue|
|1994||Reggie Workman Summit Conference||Postcards - Reggie Workman bass, Andrew Hill piano, Sam Rivers tenor/soprano sax/flute, Pheeroan akLaff drums|
|1992||Russell Baba Earth Prayer||Ruba Music - Russell Baba as, Andrew Hill p, Dan Sholute b, Akbar Depriest d|
|7/1990||Andrew Hill But Not Farewell||Blue Note CDP7949712 - Greg Osby as/ss, Robin Eubanks tb, Lonnie Plaxico b, Cecil Brooks III ds|
|1/1989||Andrew Hill Eternal Spirit||Blue Note CDP 7 92051 2 - Bobby Hutcherson vib, Greg Osby as, Rufus Reid b, Ben Riley ds|
|2/1986||Andrew Hill Shades||Soul Note 1113 - Clifford Jordan, Rufus Reid, Ben Riley|
|7/1986||Andrew Hill Verona Rag||Soul Note 1110 - solo|
|6/1980||Andrew Hill Strange Seranade||Soul Note SN 1013 - Alan Silva b, Freddy Waits perc|
|6/1980||Andrew Hill Faces of Hope||Soul Note SN 1010|
|10/1978||Andrew Hill From California With Love||Artists House AH9 - Andrew Hill p|
|1/1976||Andrew Hill - Nefertiti||East Wind EW8032 Richard Davis b, Roger Blank ds|
|7/1975||Andrew Hill Live At Montreux||Arista/Freedom AL1023 - Andrew Hill p|
|7/1975||Andrew Hill Divine Revelation||Steeplechase SCS1044 - Jimmy Vass ss/as/fl, Chris White b, Leroy Williams ds|
|5/1975||Andrew Hill Homage||East Wind EW8017 - Andrew Hill p|
|3/1975||Andrew Hill Blueback||East Wind EW8029 - Jimmy Vass ss/as/fl, Chris White b, Leroy Williams ds|
|12/1974||Andrew Hill - Spiral||Arista/Freedom AL1007 Lee Konitz ss/as/ts, Ted Curson tp, Cecil McBee b, Art Lewis ds, Robin Kenyatta as, Stafford James b, Barry Altshul ds. Listen to MP3s from the LP|
|10/1974||Andrew Hill Invitation||Steeplechase SCS1026 - Chris White b, Art Lewis ds|
|5/1969||Andrew Hill Lift Every Voice||Blue Note BST84330 - Woody Shaw tp, Carlos Garnett ts, Richard Davis b, Freddie Waits ds|
|11/1968||Andrew Hill - Dance With Death||Blue Note Lt-1030 - Joe Farrell ts/ss, Charles Toliver tpt, Victor Sproles b, Billy Higgins d|
|8/1968||Andrew Hill Grass Roots||Blue Note BST84303 - Lee Morgan tp, Booker Ervin ts, Ron Carter b, Freddie Watts ds|
|3/1966||Sam Rivers Involution||Blue Note BN-LA453-H2 - Sam Rivers ts, Walter Booker b, J.C. Moses ds|
|10/1965||Andrew Hill Compulsion||Blue Note BST84217 Freddie Hubbard tp, John Gilmore ts/bcl, Cecil McBee b, Joe Chambers d, Nedi Qamar perc, Renaud Simmons conga|
|4/1965||Bobby Hutcherson - Dialogue||Blue Note BST84198 - Bobby Hutcherson vib/marimba, Freddie Hubbard tp, Sam Rivers fl/as/ts/bcl Richard Davis b, Joe Chambers ds|
|6/1964||Andrew Hill Andrew!||Blue Note BST84203 - John Gilmore ts, Bobby Hutcherson vib, Richard Davis b, Joe Chambers ds|
|3/64||Andrew Hill Point of Departure||Blue Note BST84167 - Kenny Dorham tp, Eric Dolphy as/fl/bcl, Joe Henderson ts, Richard Davis b, Anthony Williams ds|
|1/1964||Andrew Hill Judgement||Blue Note BST84159 - Bobby Hutcherson vib, Richard Davis b, Elvin Jones ds|
|12/1963||Andrew Hill Smokestack||Blue Note BST84160 Richard Davis b, Eddie Khan b, Roy Haynes ds|
|11/1963||Andrew Hill Black Fire||Blue Note BST8415 - Joe Henderson ts, Richard Davis b, Roy Haynes ds. subterfuge.mp3|
|10/1963||Hank Mobley No Room For Squares||Blue Note BST84149 Hank Mobley ts, Lee Morgan tp, John Ore b, Philly Joe Jones ds|
|9/1963||Joe Henderson Our Thing||Blue Note BST84152 - Joe Henderson ts, Kenny Dorham tp, Eddie Khan b, Pete LaRoca ds|
|3/1963||Jimmy Woods -Conflict||Contemporary S7612 - Jimmy Woods as, Carmel Jones tp, Harold Land ts, George Tucker b|
|9/1962||Walt Dickerson To My Queen||New Jazz LP8283 - Walt Dickerson vib, George Tucker b, Andrew Cyrille ds|
|9/1962||Roland Kirk - Domino||Mercury SR60748 - Roland Kirk ts/strich/manzello/fl, Veron Martin b, Henry Duncan ds|
|1961||Johnny Hartman/Andrew Hill - Trio 1961 Live||(VGM 11)|
|1955||Andrew Hill So In Love With The Sound of Andrew Hill||Warwick W2002 - Malachi Favors b, James Slaughter ds|
|11/1954||Dave Shipp Romping/Let's Live||Vee Jay 145 - Dave Shipp b, Melvin Moore tp, Porter Kilbert as/ts, William Hobbs ds|
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