Lisa Hilton: Kaleidoscope

Pianist/composer Lisa Hilton continues her trek as one of the more original sounding performer these days. Influenced by many, but sounding only like herself, her signature sound of using all 88 ivories is impressively on display here in solo, trio and quartet format on her latest release. With JD Allen’s smoky tenor, which gets more like a Mojito with every recording, Hilton takes the team of Marcus Gilmore/dr and Larry Grenadier/b through a darkly sizzling “Simmer” and a film noirish “Labyrinth.” In the trio format, an impressionistic title track as well as playful tunes such as “Bach/Basie/Bird Boogie/Blues Bop” and “Sunny Side Up” are like drops of sunshine in the early morning. Her dark keys resonate deeply on “Midnight Mania” before going solo and panoramic on ”Stepping into Paradise.” Individualistic, yet completely catholic in its wide embrace.

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