Eminent pianist/composer Andrew Hill received the prestigious, Danish Jazzpar Prize
in 2003. And with his Jazzpar Octet + 1, we find the artist leading a Scandinavian-American jazz ensemble through a program, highlighting Hill’s unique compositional approach. With this outing you will hear raucous soloing, and multi-directional horn charts. At times, the music creates notions of big city type rush hour traffic. But the charts are undeniably organized amid a regimented game-plan. The music is cerebral in scope, yet the musicians’ do indeed inject a personalized approach as they generally, take the ball and run with it.
Hill’s music often encompasses variations of a stated melody along with shifts in tempo and shrewdly designed restructuring processes. His classical influences also surface on occasion. Consequently, there’s a continual evolvement process inherent throughout these nine pieces. Yet, on "Hermano Frere," jazz vocalist Lenora Zenzalai Helm alters the album’s overall flow via breezy choruses atop a rather sanguine, horns arrangement. In effect, a blossoming impetus prevails during the preponderance of this production. To that end, Hill affords his soloists plenty of opportunities to strut their respective goods. (Strongly recommended.... )