Andrew Hill: Subterfuge




Andrew Hill (piano)


Black Fire (Blue Note 84151)

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Andrew Hill (piano), Richard Davis (bass), Roy Haynes (drums).

Composed by Andrew Hill


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, November 8, 1963


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

This is from the great album, Black Fire, which also features one of my favorite saxophonists, Joe Henderson. Everyone is great form. I probably zeroed in on this trio piece because Iím thinking a lot about piano trio music right now, but also because itís so powerful. This album has mystified and excited me since I got it about fifteen years ago. The group is unified to an astounding degree, all the elements resonate with each other, which gives the group such a powerful sound. Roy Haynes sounds incredible, all the very animated work on the snare, and heís present in the mix in a way that drummers usually werenít on Blue Noteís Van Gelder sessions. When a drummer is that present in the mix, which is usually how I prefer it to be on my own albums (and sometimes I get flack for this), you really hear the counterpoint with the other instruments. Itís much more centered: you hear the drummer not just as a supportive instrument, but as a central member of the group. It sets off all the rhythmic intricacies that Andrew is doing, how he fits in all this stuff between the beats. I love the way Hill lands synchronously with Haynes so forcefully and so frequently. His rhythmic solidity is so palpable, and his playing is very extroverted and active. Itís not like heís just floating. Heís always anchored in the time. Itís inspiring to hear such advanced rhythmic expression.

Reviewer: Vijay Iyer

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