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Album Review: Feeling Good
Lisa Hilton
Cover image of the album Feeling Good by Lisa Hilton
Feeling Good
Lisa Hilton
2001 / Lisa Hilton Music
38 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Feeling Good is a collection of fourteen jazz tunes, eleven of which are original compositions by Malibu pianist Lisa Hilton. About half of the pieces are solo piano and the others are piano and small jazz ensemble. The album was designed to create a “calm sense of ease and lightness.... Soothing music to touch and leave you ...feeling good.” The selections are a very enjoyable combination of the familiar and the new, upbeat and quiet contemplation. I have reviewed most of Hilton’s CDs, which have been released over the past twelve years, and have to say that she is one of my favorite jazz artists. Whether she is playing standards, fast-tempo originals, or slinky blues, she has full command of her piano yet allows her band members to shine in their own right.

The CD begins with the title track, an upbeat piece of musical joy. Hilton is joined by Ian Tilp on sax, Tal Bergman on drums, and Reggie McBride on bass. Mellow and carefree, it couldn’t have a more appropriate title. “Stranger In Paradise” is a classic standard, and Hilton’s arrangement has a gentle swaying motion that’s just right. “Dreams” is a lovely piano solo that defies classification and is, well, dreamy! Blues piano is a specialty of Hilton’s, and her take on Duke Ellington’s “Paris Blues” is a great example with just enough sultry slinkiness. “Petal in the Wind” is a bit more abstract, and the piano/percussion duo captures the essence of a flower petal being swept in circles as well as up and down by the wind. My favorite track is “I’m Coming Home,” a beautifully bittersweet piece that conveys anticipation mixed with sadness. This one stopped me in my tracks every time I heard it. “Do You Care?” is very dark, stormy, and passionate. Hilton’s arrangement of “When I Fall In Love” is one of my favorite versions of this song. “Dusk” is a wonderful depiction of the time of day when the world starts to get very quiet (away from the city!). I also really like “Shooting Star,” a piano solo that soothes with a calm elegance. “...Ever After” closes the CD with an ensemble piece that is both graceful and lighthearted.

Feeling Good was one of Lisa Hilton’s earlier albums, but she sounded just as good then as she does now! Her CDs are available from lisahiltonmusic.com, amazon.com, cdbaby.com, and iTunes. Recommended!
February 18, 2009
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