Fun and upbeat!
“Jazz After Hours” is an ensemble recording featuring Lisa Hilton on piano, Eric Marienthal on sax, Tal Bergman on drums, and Reggie McBride on bass. Of the eleven tracks, seven are originals and four are arrangements of jazz classics. I have to admit that I prefer Hilton’s solo piano work, but this is a really nice selection of pieces that place an emphasis on fun. “Malibu” has been receiving extensive airplay in the US and abroad, and recently reached the #1 position on the Top 20 SIngles World Jazz Chart. On most of the tracks, the piano is part of the ensemble rather than the lead, but the band is excellent and Eric Marienthal really cooks on sax.
“Malibu” is an upbeat and joyous tribute to Hilton’s seaside hometown. Known for its carefree surfers and sunny beaches, this piece captures that kind of party spirit. Bill Evans’ “Waltz For Debby” is a beautiful trio for piano, bass, and drums - soulful and sensuous, and a great arrangement. “Nocturne” was inspired by Chopin and is a standout. Cool, dark, and slinky, it does indeed sound like the middle of the night. “All That” is another favorite, and sounds like a blast to play. Hilton and Marienthal pull out the stops and really let loose. Duke Ellington’s “Azure” is again piano, bass, and drums, and is leisurely and “bluesy.” “When We Met” is the only solo piano piece, and I love it. Composed in the style of a standard, it is both old and new, and has a beautiful, romantic feeling. “Listen to Your Heart” closes the CD on a gentle, intimate note.
“Jazz After Hours” is a great album for relaxing and reenergizing, a backdrop for an intimate dinner, or even good party music.