Whass up jazzy people, it’s great to be back in the groove with a few more titles from the shelves of Flux Music Essentials … on today, I’ve got one of my favorite pianist Billy Childs and his Grammy Winning masterpiece titled “Lyric.” As you know, fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane stirs up the pot with the infallible “In Flux” his 2005 project. A fascinating pianist/keyboardist from Japan named Hiromi rips the eighty-eights like nobodies business on her mind numbing release “Time Control.” Europeans jazz enthusiast sorely misses one of the finest innovative pianist in the world named Esbjörn Svensson and his Trio release “Viaticum.” Finally, a gentleman who’s synonymous when it comes to modern guitar Lee Ritenour and his 1993 tribute – “We Bound” on GRP Records to the most influential guitarist in the world Wes Montgomery.
Billy Childs Ensemble | Lyric (Jazz Chamber Music Vol-1) – [Lunacy Music/ArtistShare, 2002]
After about two decades of releases as a leader, Billy Childs continues to produce cutting edge performances of his compositions and arrangements at the highest level of musicianship. This latest recording is his most solid work as a leader. It is worth a listen for anyone who is interested in serious music with lyric qualities.
For the past several years, Billy has not released any CDs with himself as a leader that primarily feature his own compositions, but “In Carson’s Eyes” gets things off to a hypnotically beautiful start by telling a musical story that is full of brilliant intricacies. “Goodbye, Friend” and “Prelude in Bb Major” both demonstrate his uncanny ability to move effortlessly between classical music and jazz while at times seeming to give a nod of acknowledgement to Pat Metheny. “Into the Light” is a Grammy Award winning composition that demonstrates a torrent of virtuosity and unpredictable intensity that would be worthy of an artist whose skill reminds the listener of Chick Corea without sounding like Chick Corea in any way. Continue reading