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Vignette by Steve Hill

I’m not exactly sure what goal Steve Hill had in mind when he released this album, "Vignette". It is surprisingly short - both in content and substance. It consists of three tracks, totaling less than 11 minutes of music. I guess this is technically an ‘EP’, though it feels more like a demo. However, it boasts very nice packaging and artwork, much nicer than you would expect to find on a demo. And according to the website, there is not any ‘more’ to the album - these three songs are it.

This recording features Hill on piano and Warren Ham on vocals. The three songs are all written by Hill. I enjoyed Hill’s piano playing. He has a light, delicate touch and a great sense of melody and phrasing, but I found his songs unexceptional at best. And I don’t think that Ham’s vocals helped the situation at all. It’s not that he’s a bad singer, but his singing on these songs immediately brings to mind a soundtrack from a 70’s stage play - unremarkable and overly dramatic. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a jazz album, but it doesn’t come across like one. It sounds much more like a late 60’s/early 70’s pop album.

It’s difficult to make any solid judgments based on such a small amount of material, but I think that Hill is a talented pianist and I would like to hear more material from him - either as a solo artist or with a full band, minus the vocalist.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Steve Hill
  • CD Title: Vignette
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Shimera Recorded Music
  • Tracks: Too Late (For Those Days), Vignette, Morning
  • Musicians: Steve Hill (piano), Warren Ham (vocals)
  • Rating: One Star
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