The Jazz.com Blog
April 20, 2008 · 0 comments
Eric Novod, a regular contributor to jazz.com, shares some thoughts below spurred by the anniversary of Andrew Hill’s passing. Readers may also want to check out Novod’s recent Dozens feature on twelve classic performances recorded live at the Village Vanguard. T.G.
Andrew Hill (photo by Jos L. Knaepen)
This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the death of pianist/composer/educator Andrew Hill. After a prolonged battle with lung cancer, Hill passed away at his home in Jersey City, New Jersey, on April 20, 2007. He was 75 years old.
As the current generation of jazz greats flower and thrive, from Brad Mehldau and Kurt Rosenwinkel, to Ben Allison and Ben Monder, to the Bad Plus and Punk Bop, musicians from the previous generation who were able to juggle successfully the complexities of free jazz with swing and bop traditions are seen as the true purveyors of compositional influence for many of the finest younger players on the scene. Of course, the historic masters will forever remain the masters, but listening to where the music is headed in the twenty-first century seems to warrant the acknowledgement of a second wave of musicians that act as direct influences on current jazz -- musicians like Paul Bley, Rashaan Roland Kirk, Paul Motian, Sam Rivers, and especially Andrew Hill.
It is therefore gratifying to see that Hill has been awarded and praised throughout this first year since his passing. In early 2007, Hill was made aware of two prestigious jazz awards that were unfortunately awarded to him posthumously. He was named a 2008 NEA Jazz Master and was also awarded an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music on May 12, 2008. These honors add on to his already significant list of major jazz awards: Jazz Journalists Composer of the Year Award (2000, 2001, 2003, 2006), Down Beat Critics Poll winner (2000, 2001), the Doris Duke Foundation Award for Jazz Composers (first artist awarded), and the Prestigious JAZZPAR Award (2003).
Jazz.com wishes to pay tribute to the highly influential life and music of Andrew Hill by presenting a collection of links to browse through. If you have a few minutes to spare, here are some of the many great places to go on the internet to remember Hill and his music.
Fans might also want to check out Andrew Hill on NPR’s Piano Jazz and YouTube, or tributes by Richard Davis, Nels Cline and a host of others (such as Chris Burnett, Vijay Iyer, Dave Evans III, Roberto Zorzi, James Lambert, Adina Williams, Michael F. Hopkins, and Jim Bennett).This blog entry posted by Eric Novod