Best Of The Batch: Hill Briggs
Artist: Hill Briggs
Title: Solo Album
Label: Blue Pie Records
Hill Briggs is a one-man show on his simply and fittingly titled Solo Album. I find it difficult to begin to articulate all the feelings and complete satisfaction I felt listening to this music. Briggs is an outstanding musician. He spent two years putting this amazing project together. What I find astonishing is the fact that Hill composed all 16 tracks and then played all the instruments, live off the floor, except the saxophone on “Jez G.”
He is currently rehearsing a band to play the project live. Too bad I am not in THE UK to see this event unfold. I would find it very interesting after listening to this CD several times, knowing that he played everything himself except one sax part. It is hard for me to fathom this but every time I hear it, it becomes more real and that much more incredible.
Briggs walks you through his worlds of music one track at a time, effortlessly, like the polished pro that he is. Someone who can paint such a textured palette of colors and grace as this must be totally in touch with his innermost feelings.
I may be getting a little too deep here, but I tend to enjoy music totally in every way. I process everything I am hearing on a personal level, which actually feels like another plane of existence entirely from my everyday life. Tracks like “Latino Dance” take me to that special place in seconds, with its soothing rhythms and gentle overtones that seem to blow right through you like the warmth of a July breeze.
I have said this frequently, but could never stress it enough…instrumental music offers something entirely different than music with lyrics; you have the opportunity to create your own story, which is why I have had this love affair that continues to this day with music like this. Jazz, rock, world, and fusion are a great combination that can take you places you have never been before and Briggs has that ability to do that without difficulty.
Within his eclectic mix of genres all molded into one final sound, I consistently found gratification. I heard modern and contemporary jazz, rocking guitar licks, smooth and inviting layers of keyboards, and the essential foundation that drives it all along steadily, bass and drums.
I could go on forever and break down every track, but that would be too long and boring. And it would be also an unfair assessment of an album that was too good to discuss just a few tracks, so to give it justice I would have to say I enjoyed in its entirety. Every track gave me something to enjoy in a different way and that is the beauty of this recording.
You can tell that Briggs was meticulous about his choice of tracks and they way it was produced. All of the effort paid off in a big way as Solo Album has the kind of music you are bound to be hearing all over internet radio stations where you tune into jazz, smooth jazz, and fusion.
Too bad the brick and mortar stations will never hear this. We are the lucky ones that get to enjoy it, knowing that the mainstream big label backed music is for those that don’t want to dig down deep and get something more than just a tune playing in the background that brings about nothing more than superficial feelings.
01. Yes Please (3:50)
02. Bristol Bay (4:02)
03. Dawn Til Dusk (4.52)
04. Latino Dance (4:44)
05. Ballardos (4:48)
06. Crusin (4:22)
07. Who And When (5:24)
08. Jez G (5:16)
09. No Way Out (3:40)
10. Lazy Days (4:05)
11. Smell The View (3:44)
12. The Girl From Notradamas (4:25)
13. Walk On The Wilderbeast (5:14)
14. Leg End (4:20)
15. Heart Felt (5:15)
16. Yellow Jack (2:44)
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