A 52 Week Autobiography Through Music – Week 47 – Andrew Hill
Andrew Hill's music has always reached a place inside me that other jazz composers don't. There is so much space in his music, and a patience that is inviting and reassuring. He was an unusual sort of pianist who's personal style often contrasted greatly with the styles of improvisation of the other musicians on his records and somehow, even though the other players are at times quite virtuosic, there is no sense that the individual soloist's contributions are floating on top of the musical background as can often happen in Jazz. In this music it very much feels like an organic living, breathing ensemble working together to build something. The soloists function more like pillars of support, carrying the weight and balancing different aspects of the the musical architecture rather than being ornaments placed on top of it.
Enough said. Take some time to listen and explore his music and you will be rewarded.
while watching this and reading your commentary, i thought about miles davis, and then went back to watch your episode on him. i would have said the same things apply to his later work, ie with herbie hancock, wayne shorter, ron carter and tony williams. do those follow the standard pattern you describe in this video? i, at least, never know what will happen next – well, i do now because i’ve heard them a lot. and they definitely seem like an organic, living, breathing ensemble. naturally this is no way means if you have miles why do you need andrew hill, but i am curious to know if you would give those attributes to miles’s work with the 2nd quartet.