Lisa Hilton | Sunny Day Theory

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Jazz: Cool Jazz Jazz: Jazz quartet Moods: Solo Instrumental
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Sunny Day Theory

by Lisa Hilton

Lisa Hilton\'s instrumental cool jazz is upbeat and low-key, perfect for listening in the car, at work, dinner parties or for a relaxing evening.
Genre: Jazz: Cool Jazz
Release Date: 

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1. Heat Wave
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2. Melt Down
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4:04 $0.99
3. So Blue
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5:09 $0.99
4. Ladies of the Canyon
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5:23 $0.99
5. After the Fire
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4:21 $0.99
6. Sunny Day Theory
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3:36 $0.99
7. Skylark
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2:59 $0.99
8. So This Is Love
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4:39 $0.99
9. Where Have All The Flowers Gone?
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4:21 $0.99
10. Malibu Morning
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3:04 $0.99
11. Sunset on the Beach
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5:16 $0.99
12. Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
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Album Notes
Sunny Day Theory

\"Life these days is filled with challenges, and last year I encountered a lot: the passing of my friend and jazz icon, Joe Zawinul, three devastating fires in my hometown of Malibu, war ravaging the planet, the death of my mother - all scattered among the “everyday” difficulties of love and life. But I noticed that with grief there is indeed grace; for every pain, pleasure can follow; that after fire, there is indeed re-growth. My engineer made me laugh when he recounted a “Foggy Day Theory” he created when he was stuck in L. A. traffic one day. I immediately countered with a “Sunny Day Theory,” which basically assumes that every difficulty, if embraced honestly, will create the opportunity for growth, hope, and light. That the complex can be dealt with one step at a time, that there can be great depth in something as simple as a melody, that within every blues there is astounding beauty, and that with tomorrow, there is always the hope for a sunny day. During this time, I found myself especially savoring the beauty of life we sometimes take for granted: fresh-washed mornings, delightful warm weather, and beach walks at sunset which found their way into these tunes. Enjoy these upbeat tunes\".

Composer/producer/pianist Lisa Hilton is joined by Lewis Nash on drums, Larry Grenadier on bass and Brice Winston on tenor sax. Recorded and mixed by Al Schmitt at Capitol Studios.

All royalties from the track, \"Where Have All the Flowers Gone?\" from digital delivery services such as iTunes during 2008, will be donated to The Carter Center, which was founded by former president and Nobel Peace Price laureate Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. Or you can donate directly to this esteemed organization through

Lisa Hilton supports music education programs for school children, especially for the blind or visually impaired.

All About Jazz
By: George Harris
September 2008

“… a top notch piano player (Lisa Hilton) with a touch mixed with a set of chops that rivals anything Brad Mehldau has put out in his much heralded career.”

“Sunny Day Theory includes the formidable collective forces of drummer Lewis Nash, bassist Larry Grenadier, and tenor saxophonist Brice Winston for an exquisite set of originals and clever covers.”

NY Jazz Improv
By: Dave Miele
September 2008

“Lisa Hilton is an unpretentious, understated pianist with a flare for groove and feel. She is a prolific composer whose original compositions create moods and atmospheres that take the listener on a journey. Along for the ride on Sunny Day Theory, her latest release, are drummer Lewis Nash, saxophonist Brice Winston, and Bassist Larry Grenadier. These men lend their considerable musical talents to a song cycle that is as much about following Hilton through a soundscape of moods as it is about the individual character of each tune. Hilton doesn’t fill each track with endless improvisations. Rather, the sets the mood and character of each piece and then gently walks through that world for a few minutes. There is something quite refreshing about this approach to a modern jazz recording.”

Buffalo News
By: Jeff Simon
August 2008

“Lisa Hilton, ‘Sunny Day Theory’ (Ruby Slippers). This beauteous Californian pianist has some of the better friends you can have in jazz these days. She has the potential to be almost as hugely popular a jazz pianist as, say, Diana Krall is a singer/pianist. And, of course, blonde beauty is by no means incidental to it.



to write a review

Kathy Parsons

Sunny Day Music!
Following an especially challenging year in 2007, jazz pianist/composer Lisa Hilton emerged with a fresh new album called “Sunny Day Theory.” The twelve pieces include eight originals and Lisa’s arrangements of four classic tunes and standards. Backed by Lewis Nash on drums, Larry Grenadier on bass, and Brice Winston on tenor sax, Hilton conveys a broad range of emotions, most of which are on the upbeat, optimistic side. It’s no secret that I prefer Lisa Hilton’s solo piano work, but “Sunny Day Theory” is great fun to listen to either with full attention or as background music. I listened to it three or four times while putting together Christmas Eve dinner and found it most enjoyable!

“Sunny Day Theory” opens with “Heat Wave,” a feel-good piece inspired by Erroll Garner’s mambos. Fronted by Brice Winston on tenor sax, this piece really gets up and moves! “Melt Down” continues the upbeat pace with a more agitated and slightly frantic mood – one of my favorites. Lisa Hilton is one of my favorite blues players, and “So Blue” is almost as slinky as her “Seduction” (one of my all-time favorites!). Piano with just bass and drums suits this piece perfectly. I also really like Hilton’s breezy but soulful interpretation of Joni Mitchell’s “Ladies of the Canyon,” again perfect with the piano/bass/drums trio. Contrasting with the fun of the previous pieces, “After The Fire” is reflective of the pain and sorrow from the massive destruction of a third fire that raged through Malibu in one season. “Skylark” is a solo piano rendition of this Hoagy Carmichael classic. Reflective with just a taste of the blues, it’s a beauty! “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” is a wonderful instrumental of the Pete Seeger anti-war song – just as timely and haunting as when it was first heard in 1961. Larry Grenadier’s melodic lead on the bass is a delightful surprise! “Malibu Morning” is a second piano solo, capturing the essence of the early morning in Hilton’s beach town – fresh, lazy, and full of promise – beautiful! Joe Zawinul was a good friend of Hilton’s, and his passing was one of the difficult events of 2007. He once told her she should record one of his songs, so she chose “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” a great piece and a great tribute to a jazz legend!

Lisa Hilton always delivers with each new release, and “Sunny Day Theory” is no exception. It’s a spirited and satisfying hour of jazz piano that will add a little sunshine to any day. Recommended!

Sandy Shore Review
The theory is, according to Lisa Hilton, “There can be great depth in something as simple as a melody or a walk on the beach… within every blues there can be astounding beauty… and with tomorrow, there is always the hope for a sunny day.” She’s in so deep now she may not even realize that she’s been woven into this American music tapestry… like a flower petal is absorbed into the soil, Lisa Hilton has transcended into a universal jazz consciousness. Surrounded by players who encompass and embrace her, the artful pianist is in top form here with Lewis Nash on drums, Larry Grenadier on bass and Brice Winston on tenor sax. SUNNY DAY THEORY embodies what all great jazz recordings have nestled inside them… organic soul. Eight originals and four covers from critically acclaimed songwriters effortlessly fall into the atmosphere, arriving with confidence and integrity. From Ms. Hilton’s own “Heat Wave” to Joni Mitchell’s 1968 tune “Ladies of the Canyon” to the self-penned title track to the late Joe Zawinul’s “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” this recording is sensitive, reflective and timeless. Hilton brings Al Schmitt back for more flawless recording and mixing at the famous Capitol Records Studio in Hollywood, CA. SUNNY DAY THEORY is a beautiful classic, from the inside out.