Dave Hill


New World CD

Two Seasons CD

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two seasons by guitarist dave hill (read reviews here)

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two seasons, by guitarist Dave Hill

All contemporary jazz, featuring guest keyboard artist Gregg Karukas.

"Hill's excellent guitar puts the cap on this excellent and well conceived eight track release."
Irene Wadkins/Jazz Journalist - Jazz Connections 2000

MP3 Audio Samples

  1. Two Seasons (45 second clip)
  2. Pack A Lunch (53 second clip)
  3. When We're Together (full song - 6:30)
  4. If You Don't Care Anymore (50 second clip)
  5. Teite (63 second clip)
In a musical age driven by a cookie cutter, hit single mentality, where the powers that be do everything they can to pigeonhole artists to fit into simple categories, Dave Hill goes joyfully out on a limb to celebrate the true adventurous spirit of contemporary jazz. Ensembling powerfully with some of the most exciting and innovative performers on the L.A. scene, the veteran guitarist offers a richly textured mix of beautiful melodies and energetic improvisations on his independently released debut Two Seasons. Realizing that the spirit of truly great music can't always be so tidy and contained, Hill digs deep into his foundational Wes Montgomery influence with a modern approach and comes up with an eclectic experience to create the ultimate player's project.

Familiar to fans in Southern California for his numerous club and festival dates with keyboardists Scott Wilkie and Gregg Karukas (who performs on four of the eight tracks), Hill's first solo collection is a natural extension of his increasing visibility as a spotlight performer. Two Seasons features contributions by regular Hill bandmembers Adam Cohen (bass), Tim McIntyre (drums), Bill Fulton (piano) and Kevin King (keyboards), in addition to additional guest performances by tenor saxophonist Andy Suzuki, bassist Ernest Tibbs and longtime Rippingtons' drummer Dave Karasony.

"My main objective is to reach the listening public with thoughtful, well played music and the assurance that I'm a new artist with a strong, constantly developing vision of what I believe the essence of jazz to be," says Hill, whose other influences include Pat Metheny, John Scofield and, going back to childhood, pianist Vince Guaraldi. "I write music to communicate with people, so it's very balanced between the heavily melodic and improvisational. I enjoy bridging the gap between jazz purists who like really daring performances and newcomers to jazz who simply enjoy great songs played by musicians who know how to both groove and entertain. The spirit I try to capture is about creating a synergy, being inspired by those you work with to be spontaneous and take the energy higher. It's really about being in the moment."

Each moment of the 60 plus minutes of Two Seasons invokes a unique mood and vibe, beginning with the thoughtful and cool electric melody that introduces the opening track "Remembering You." Karukas' elegant piano melody eases the tune into an easy swinging, then more aggressive jazz mode, with Hill strutting his stuff over Cohen and McIntyre's increasingly intense rhythm patterns. The title track lives up to its multi-faceted promise, breaking laid back and melodic with a lush Hill/Suzuki interaction before Hill turns his electric axe loose for some explosive rock fusion; the tune also includes Karukas' unmistakable shimmering electric piano and tasteful playing.

Hill brings the party to a later point in the evening with the bluesy haunting ballad "If You Don't Care Anymore," a piece with old school soul sensibilities that provides a lush showcase for Hill's soulful and slightly melancholy approach "Mayso," which opens with Bill Fulton's lively piano harmony beneath Hill's subtle electric melody before evolving into a picture perfect, spirited light funk tune, is the most pop-oriented piece in the bunch. Later on in our journey, we swing to a different mood with the Bill Evans inspired "Workin' On Your Thing," which features the beautiful vibes of Billy Hulting and thoughtful dark-toned guitar work. Karukas drives the harmony of another brilliant Hill ballad, the dreamy, hypnotic (and magnificently restrained) "When We're Together". Shifting gears again, we find the easy strutting "Pack a Lunch," which opens gently and then picks up steam as it finds its stride in the chorus. Closing the set is the lively, Adam Cohen-composed samba "Teite," which builds a jamming ensemble energy around the core guitar/sax magic of Hill and alto saxophonist Rick Rossi.

A native of Kent (near Seattle), Washington, Dave Hill moved to Los Angeles in the mid-80s to pursue his musical dreams, which have been realized alternately as a popular composer, sideman, studio musician and guitar instructor at his alma mater, the Musician's Institute in Hollywood. Over the past two decades, he has played rock, blues, country, classical and jazz, and has performed with such top jazz legends and contemporary artists as Frank Gambale, Jimmy Earl, Max Bennett and Jeff Kashiwa.

His two highest profile smooth jazz associations in recent years have led him to sharing stages at the Pasadena Jazz Festival and Inglewood Jazz Festival (with Gregg Karukas) and touring in Central and South America (with Scott Wilkie), in addition to hundreds of club dates in Southern California. His inimitable guitar work can also be heard on pianist David Lanz's 2002 hit Finding Paradise and Newport Nights, the new Native Language Music release by keyboardist Theo Bishop. Other resume highlights include a performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival while barely in his teens.

With the release of Two Seasons, Hill most fully realizes his potential as a jazz performer and artist. "I love the creation process and feeding off the spontaneity of a live band," he says. "I've always gravitated towards jazz because only jazz gives you the kind of freedom all musicians long for. There's a back and forth exchange of energy that you can't find anywhere else. As great as it is playing with this caliber of musicians, the real fun is performing with a deep sense of musicality, melody and taste for fans that come out to hear you. I write my music with an eye towards taking them on a journey, transporting them to a new place they could never have imagined. Making music for me is all about creating those kinds of experiences."

Review by Jonathan Windran

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guitarist Dave Hill
(c) 2010 Dave Hill, 818-761-3142, email: dave@davehillmusic.com
Website: the Way Home media

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