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Jenny Hill Jazz

saxophones, flute, teaching

Upcoming gigs:

 Big Bowl of Soul--Oct. 31st, midnight show at Side Walk, 94 Ave. A

Denis Leary and Comics Come Home--Nov. 8, Boston Garden

Welcome

to the Jenny Hill music site.

Thanks for stopping by!

We have music, video, and other items for your listening and viewing pleasure. Jazz, reggae, and Brazilian music for starters.

If you want to stream or purchase music, go to cdbaby.com/cd/jennyhill3

Enjoy!

Discography

Easy Star All-Stars, First Light, Easy Star Records 2011
Easy Star All-Stars, Lonely Hearts Dub Band, Easy Star Records 2009
Jenny Hill, The Chill Factor, Rat Beach Records 2007
Todd Isler, Soul Drums, Takadimi Records 2007
Govt Mule, Mighty High, 2007
Easy Star All-Stars, RadioDread, Easy Star Records 2006
Easy Star All-Stars, Dub Side of the Moon, Easy Star Records 2003
Jenny Hill, Planet Sax, Rat Beach Records 2002
JAZZIZ Women In Jazz CD, July 2002
Lalibela, Black Son Rising, 2002
Silvana Magda, Sentindo, Homagic Productions 2002
Louis Atlas, Beat of the Heart, 2001
Jenny Hill, Liquid Horn, Rat Beach Records 1998
Silvana Magda with Katende Band, Enzila, Homagic Productions 1998
Toots and the Maytals, Ska Father, Artists Only! Records 1998
Todd Isler, Two Step, Takadimi Records 1998
Savane, Savane, Pope of the Slope Records 1997
LA Sax Artist Compilation, LA Sax 1997
Primordial Source, Polarity, Audiograph Records 1996
Dennis Brown, Blazing, Shanachie Records 1992
Burning Spear, Live In Paris, Slash Records 1989
Burning Spear, Mistress Music, Slash Records 1988
Burning Spear, People of the World, Slash Records 1988

Press / Reviews

“Verdant with melody, sparkling with textures, apulse with back-beats”
-Howard Mandel, Future Jazz, Down Beat, JazzTimes

“[Jenny] has a rich dark sound on saxophone and does a nice job as well on the flute intro”
-Saxophone Journal

“A rich sampling of funk, world beat, and latin styles, brought together by the common thread of Hill’s identity as a mainstream jazz player”
-Rob Taube, Brooklyn Eagle

“Members who all play with distinct personalities. Several soloists stood out – tenor saxist Jenny Hill”
-Reading Eagle, Reading, PA.

“Thank you for your magnificent contribution”
-Cynthia Hedstrom, Program Director, International Festival of Arts and Ideas

Review by Bill Milkowski of “The Chill Factor”:

On The Chill Factor, Jenny Hill’s third release as a leader, Hill distinguishes herself as a formidable soloist as well as an accomplished composer-arranger and bandleader. Bebop meets Brazil on this versatile outing, which also contains a couple of affecting ballads, an African flavored romp, a bit of off-kilter funk and two inventive takes on jazz classics. Hill leads the way with some bold playing on tenor, soprano and flute,

accompanied by a stellar crew of fellow New Yorkers in trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, pianist John DiMartino, vibraphonist Stefan Bauer, acoustic bass guitarist Jerome Harris, electric bassist Oswaldo Amorim, upright bassist Dave Ambrosio and her husband Todd Isler on drums and percussion. Together they strike a soulful accord on these nine invigorating tracks.

“I think it helps when you play with the same people for a long time,” says Jenny. “I have played with John, Curtis and Oswaldo for years and I began playing with Jerome and Stefan at least two years before we recorded The Chill Factor. I think that contributed to the sound of this recording. Each guy’s coming from a different place musically but we do have this tight chemistry because we’re friends and we play together a lot.”

Hill’s friendship with Fowlkes, a charter member of the Jazz Passengers and current member of Charlie Haden’s Liberation Orchestra and Elliott Sharp’s Terraplane, goes back to their tenure together in the Big Apple Circus band. “I met Curtis there and immediately had a nice blend with him.” Hill and Fowlkes exhibit that easy blend on the frontline throughout The Chill Factor while also engaging in loose, conversational exchanges on a few of the pieces here. The presence of Jenny’s husband, drummer Todd Isler, adds to the harmonious nature of this outing.

The use of vibes on several pieces lends a unique flavor to some of Hill’s arrangements on The Chill Factor. “I was trying to get a different color on this project and thought it would open up the sound,” she says. “I was searching for something more organic, more natural sounding with a pure tone. I began playing regular gigs in Brooklyn with Stefan, Todd and Jerome, and that’s kind of how this whole project evolved.”

Hill ended up using Bauer on six of the tunes and then brought in pianist John DiMartino (a longtime sideman to the late Latin jazz icon Ray Barretto and currently a member of Bobby Sanabria’s Quarteto Ache) for the remaining three. “As an arranger over the years I’ve grown to understand that you can’t just do the same thing over and over,” she explains. “People’s ears just get tired of it. So it’s great to introduce different colors, different feels and different voices into the mix and save some of the instruments for later. I like to hold a couple surprises.” DiMartino offers plenty of surprises on a savvy reinvention of McCoy’s “Passion Dance” along with the hypnotic “Monkeys of Kilimanjaro” and the funk- oriented “Elephant Boogie Mania.”

The mellow opener “Beautiful Madness” features some shimmering accompaniment from vibist Bauer and is also highlighted by evocative harmonies between Fowlkes’ trombone and Hill’s tenor sax. Spurred on by empathetic support from Harris on acoustic bass guitar and Isler on drums, Jenny launches into a fluid, gutsy solo mid-way through the piece while Todd unleashes with a flurry on the kit at the tag.

On her buoyant samba “Ocean Mist,” Jenny switches to flute while Todd incorporates some frame drum work. Again, the sound of Bauer’s vibes lends a luminous quality to the proceedings while Harris, a longstanding member of the Paul Motian Band, handles the bubbling groove with aplomb. Fowlkes comes in at the end to contribute a spirited trombone solo.

Their inventive, grooving take on Tyner’s “Passion Dance” combines the inherent modal feel of the original with an undulating rhythm borrowed from Brazil. “I always liked that tune but I didn’t want to treat it the same way that everybody else does,” says Hill. “So we used a rhythm that comes from the Northeast part of Brazil called maracatu. It’s usually created by a large group of drummers playing hand drums. They practice all year long for the samba Carnival. When we were in Recife we snuck into this rehearsal and checked one group out.” Jenny digs in on tenor and blows with gusto on this clever reinterpretation while pianist DiMartino solos adventurously over the baiao section of the piece. Says Hill of her bandmate, “John is awesome. His choices here really helped the tune take off.”

The introspective “Regrets Only” is a hauntingly beautiful ballad that showcases Hill’s burnished tone on tenor sax. “It’s inspired by Horace Silver’s Peace,” she explains. Bauer turns in a particularly expressive solo here with sensitve support from Isler on brushes and Ambrosio on acoustic bass.

“The Seventh Nerve,” a Hill original which deftly switches time signatures from seven to six and back, carries a subtle Middle Eastern influence in the voicings between Jenny’s soprano sax and Curtis’ trombone. “We’re supposed to sound like a caravan entering and leaving the desert,” she explains. Hill and Curtis engage in conversational exchanges near the end while drummer Isler overdubs kanjira (an Indian hand drum) at the ending vamp to enhance the exotic vibe of the piece.

Miles Davis’ “Nardis” is handled here as a seductive straight-eighths groove, with Hill’s tenor affecting a husky, warm-toned Getz-ian vibe. Bauer’s vibes set a dreamy mood while Isler’s hand drums and Ambrosio’s upright bass lend a subtle rhythmic undercurrent for this quartet piece.

Hill’s affecting “Monkeys of Kilimanjaro” carries a vibrant South African flavor reminiscent of some of Abdullah Ibrahim’s writing. Amorim grooves the buoyant piece on electric bass, while DiMartino comps simply behind Jenny’s soaring flute solo. Isler again varies the dynamic of the piece by alternating between frame drum and the traps set. “It’s just a four measure tune, the shortest tune I ever wrote,” says Jenny. “There’s only four bars of melody but it’s layered, so the instruments enter at different times and build it up, and then the piece dissolves at the end.” Fowlkes elevates the proceedings when he enters with an engerized trombone solo, and DiMartino solos nimbly against Amorim’s hypnotic bass ostinato and Isler’s polyrhythmic pulse.

The ultra-funky “Elephant Boogie Mania” is a showcase for trombonist Fowlkes. Catch his playful quote from “Rhapsody in Blue” in the middle of his solo here. Amorim also reveals some impressive post-Jaco chops on electric bass. “When Curtis and I worked in the circus band together,” recalls Hill, ”we would sit up in the bandstand and the elephants would have to pass under us. It was kind of a rickety platform and it would sway when they walked by. So in honor of the elephants I decided to feature the low instruments (trombone and bass) on this one.”

“Your Last Breath” is a pensive minor key ode that Jenny wrote during that tense period in October of 2002 when the D.C. sniper held the populace in the grip of terror for 23 days. “I was gigging there and every time we went out to get gas or go to the store we thought, ‘Wow, this could be your final moment.’ I wrote this haunting melody but then I thought it was too depressing, so I put it into three and made the groove more uplifting.” Bauer turns in a shimmering solo over Isler’s shifting rhythm, which morphs from hip time displacement to a straight 3/4 time swing pulse. Todd also erupts with a dynamic drum solo before the piece resolves to some interactive conversing among all the instruments.

All the pieces here are tightly executed by these stellar musicians in The Chill Factor, each a bandleader in his own right. But together they demonstrate an extraordinary chemistry in the service of this budding bandleader and talent deserving of wider recognition. — Bill Milkowski

Bill Milkowski is a regular contributor to Jazz Times, Jazziz, Modern Drummer and Bass Player magazines. He is also the author of “JACO: The Extraordinary and Tragic Life of Jaco Pastorius” (Backbeat Books)

 

Photo gallery #2

About

Playing in front of the bluebells

Jenny Hill, saxophonist and flautist, has a diverse resume that includes jazz, reggae, and global music.  A composer, arranger, and performer, she is currently working with the Easy Star All Stars, Denis Leary and the Enablers, and leads her own jazz group Liquid Horn. She has produced 3 CDs under her own name,The Chill Factor, Liquid Horn, and Planet Sax.

Bill Milkowski of the Jazz Times calls her “an accomplished composer-arranger and first-rate soloist, with some bold playing on tenor, soprano and flute.  Highly recommended.”

A resident of NYC, she has toured, performed, and/or recorded with reggae greats such as Maxi Priest, Dennis Brown, Toots and the Maytals, and Burning Spear, as well as Denis Leary, Govt. Mule, Mike Gordon of Phish, Bernie Worrell, DJ Logic, Eumir Deodato, Corey Glover, Daniel Ponce, and MC Solaar.

Jenny appeared in the 2011 Denis Leary special for Comedy Central  “Douchebags and Donuts.”  She is an original member of the band Easy Star All-Stars and recorded on the reggae/jam band classic “Dub Side of the Moon,” and many other Easy Star productions.

Her jazz credits include performing with Nancy Wilson, Dianne Schuur, Clark Terry, Dave Brubeck, Joe Williams,  and Cab Calloway while a member of the DIVA jazz orchestra.

Jenny is also active as a jazz and classical educator. She is a member of the woodwind faculty at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, the New York Pops Salute to Music program, and the 92nd Street Y.   She has been the recipient of many honors including the National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Studies grant with Joe Lovano, winner in the JAZZIZ Woodwinds On Fire competition, and the Lennie Johnson Outstanding Musician scholarship from Berklee College.  She is a featured artist in the books Practice Like The Pros by Sue Terry and Rock and Roll Saxophone by John Laughter.

Liquid Horn

Jenny Hill (saxophones, flute, composer) leads her own ensemble, Liquid Horn, a funky mixture of jazz harmonies, and Brazilian, South Indian, and West African rhythms.

She has produced three original Cds that feature her compositions, Liquid Horn in 1998, Planet Sax in 2002, and her newest release, The Chill Factor. All of these can be found on cdbaby.com/cd/jennyhill3

Liquid Horn has performed at New York City’s Blue Note, the Whitney Museum, Joe’s Pub, Club Europa, Le Bar Bat, the Brooklyn MetroTech Series, and the New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas, as well as Gates Pub in Brasilia, Brazil.

Bill Milkowski of Jazz Times calls her “an accomplished composer-arranger and first-rate soloist, with some bold playing on tenor, soprano and flute.  Highly recommended.”

Broken Reed Sax Quartet

The Broken Reed Saxophone Quartet  is comprised of five players that rotate in the quartet: Chris Bacas, Jenny Hill, Lisa Parrott and Tom Olin, in addition to Gerard. As its name implies, the group is as linked by its sense of humor as it is by its unique sound. BRSQ has been described by Dr. Sherrie Maricle, the Leader of the Diva Jazz Orchestra and the Director of Education for the New York Pops Orchestra, as “one of the most unique, innovative music ensembles I´ve heard in recent years. Their arrangements are both original and exciting, encompassing all of the relevant emotions of music, from the subtle to the explosive.”

Photo Gallery

Teaching

 Available for private study in saxophone, flute, clarinet, jazz and classical styles. Fun and interesting lessons are my goal!

 Profile:   Active jazz saxophonist and composer with a strong performance background.

                   Extensive knowledge of classical flute pieces.

                   Also plays clarinet, piccolo, and has basic piano skills.

                   Twenty-plus years’ experience in private and group teaching.

                   Experienced in creative motivation for ages 7-17, plus adult classes available in improvisation, and technique.

 Additional Focus On: 

                               Technical mastery of instrument

                               Performance skills

 Sight-reading
       Music theory
         Jazz improvisation

 Education:    private lessons with Joe Lovano, NEA jazz studies grant

                             Berklee College Of Music, Diploma in Jazz Performance, Tenor Sax, 1983

                             Indiana University, classical flute major, undergraduate studies with James Pellerite, 1978-1979


Bands

I am fortunate to work with many talented musicians and fun bands. Here are links to some of my recent projects.

Resume

Professional Experience

Easy Star All-Stars—band member          2003-present
Toured U.S., Europe, South America, Australia, Israel, Egypt

Saxophone sub for Hair, the musical          May 2009-June 2010
Baritone sax, flute, piccolo, clarinet

Denis Leary Rescue Me Comedy tour          spring 2009, 2010-11
Performances at Radio City, Town Hall, Mohegan Sun, Hard Rock

Women of the Black Rock Coalition; Lincoln Center Institute for the arts in education              
     Performances in “Nina Simone: World Citizen” concerts

Big Apple Circus, NYC—band member          1998-2003
Performed full time with Big Apple Circus (300+ shows a year)

DIVA Jazz Orchestra–Member and Clinician     1996-1998
Big band concerts and touring. Conducted group clinics with high school and college students on big band techniques.

Freelance Musician and Producer
Produced and recorded three 60-minute CDs of original jazz compositions, as well as recording credits on other projects.

Jazz and Classical Educator

Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, woodwind faculty       2004-present
NYPops Salute to Music Program, sax coach            2004-present
92nd St Y, woodwind teacher                         2006-present

Education
Berklee College Of Music, Diploma in Jazz Performance, Tenor Sax, 1983
Indiana University, classical flute major, undergraduate studies with James Pellerite, 1978-1979

Affiliations
American Federation of Musicians, Local 802
ASCAP
Chamber Music America


Honors
Featured artist in Sept. 2007 issue of JAZZIZ Magazine and CD
Featured artist in JAZZIZ Women In Jazz, July 2002 issue 
Practice Like The Pros, by Sue Terry 
Rock ‘N Roll Saxophone, by John Laughter 
NEA Jazz Studies Grant with Joe Lovano, 1985
Winner in the JAZZIZ Woodwinds On Fire competition  1998
Lennie Johnson Outstanding Musician  scholarship from Berklee College
Performed for the King of Morocco in Agadir, 2002

Easy Star All-Stars

 

Combining musical versatility, instrumental prowess, beautiful vocal harmonies and a superb rhythm section, the Easy Star All-Stars have established themselves as one of the top international reggae acts since their live debut in 2003. Thanks to their best-selling tribute album releases, Dub Side of the Moon (2003) and Radiodread (2006), and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (2009), the Dub Side remix album Dubber Side of the Moon (2010), as well as Until That Day (2008), an original EP, the Easy Star All-Stars have built a growing, dedicated fan base throughout the world, bringing together fans of reggae, classic rock, dub and indie rock into one big family. Their latest release, First Light, released in April 2011, allows the group to grow creatively, unleashing its talent on a disc of totally original music.

Originally formed in 1997 for Easy Star Records’ earliest recordings, the Easy Star All-Stars existed mostly as a studio entity until releasing Dub Side of the Moon in 2003. The group, which operates as a collective with a rotating cast of musicians and singers, was put together by Easy Star co-founders Michael Goldwasser, Eric Smith and Lem Oppenheimer. These three have directed and managed the band ever since. In 2009, the All-Stars played 125 shows in 25 countries on 6 different continents, truly establishing themselves as one of the top reggae touring acts in the world. The band was nominated for a UK Festival Award for its three-day, three-stage performance at Glastonbury 2009.

The other members of the Easy Star All-Stars, past and present, read like awho’s who of New York’s reggae, ska, dub and jazz scene. The core of the touring band has remained largely intact since 2003: Ras I Ray (bass, vocals), Ive-09 (drums), Kirsty Rock (vocals), Jennifer Hill (saxophone, flute) and Buford O’Sullivan (trombone). Menny More has handled deejay vocals since 2006. The current touring line up is filled out by Elenna Canlas (keyboards, vocals) and Shelton Garner Jr. (guitar, vocals), with either Justin Filmer or Amotz Nachmany handling dub engineering and sound. The band also rotates in Cliff Simpson (drums), Matt Bauder (saxophone), David Luther saxophone), Joanne Williams (vocals), One Drop (bass) and Curtis Fowlkes (trombone) depending on the tour. Other members of the collective—including vocalists Tamar-kali and Stephanie McKay, Groove Collective’s Jay Rodriguez, Antibalas’s Stuart Bogie, reggae legend Ranking Joe, trumpet player Pam Fleming (of the Burning Brass), deejay Dollarman, guitarist Junior Jazz, and keyboardists Ticklah and Jeremy Mage—all continue to make appearances or toured extensively with the group at one time. Producer/arranger/guitarist Michael Goldwasser still joins for occasional gigs, but spends most of his time in the studio working on the band’s musical output and his own outside productions for artists such as Rebelution, Umphrey’s McGee, Hatikva 6 and Corey Harris.

The Easy Star All-Stars—in any combination of members—have been a resounding success. Their worldwide album sales have surpassed 300,000 units since 2003, with Dub Side of the Moon staying on Billboard’s Reggae Chart since its 2003 release. MOJO picked Dub Side as the second best cover album of all time. Radiodread spent almost 2 years on Billboard’s Reggae Chart and earned praise from the members of Radiohead themselves. As for Lonely Heart’s, the record cracked the Billboard Top 200 twice, becoming the first reggae album to do that in over two years.

Media

Links


Chronic Horns


A new project started by Jenny and Buford (the horn section of Easy Star All-Stars and Govt Mule). Features New Orleans funk, roots rock reggae, and soul music.

Contact

email: jenny at liquidhorn@aol.com

Bowl of Soul