Scott Hill


Scott Hill, clarinets & soprano saxophone; Aldoush Alpanian, Turkish Saz; Leonard Thompson, piano; Rob Burger, accordion; John Shifflett & Lee Alexander, acoustic bass; Scott Amendola, drums.

Steps is an embodiment of composer and reed virtuoso Scott Hill's bold rejection of conventional ensemble practices in favor of an aggressive, pulse-based concept which unites interval sequences and tonal centers, substantially along the lines of work by Steve Lacy and Sam Rivers.

Rather than adhering to the deadlines of diatonic harmony, the leader allows his imagination to run free, and the result is a propulsive, improvised music the likes of which is frequently lost on the highest levels of musical academia. Particularly on the title track, the rapport between the leader, Shifflett, and Amendola is astonishing, totally devoid of cliché, and greater than the sum of the parts.

If there is a recording that literally defines musical dialogue, this is it. Contrasting pieces respectively featuring acoustic piano, accordion, and Turkish Saz, a Middle-Easten lute-like instrument, make this convention-flouting session among the best of the new millennium.

by James D. Armstrong, Jr.

Scott Hill's Step can be purchased through Jazz Now Direct CD Store.

Visit Scott Hill's web site at

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Copyright Jazz Now, July 2000 issue, all rights reserved