Friday, April 20, 2007

RIP: Andrew Hill / O falecimento do grande pianista e compositor

Acaba de chegar a notícia do falecimento de Andrew Hill, que vivia uma fase de ressurreição artística após um longo período de ostracismo. Por conta de seu disco "Time Lines" voltou a merecer a atenção da imprensa. Na edição de Agosto de 2006 da DownBeat, que trouxe os resultados do 54th Annual Critics Poll, o CD foi eleito "álbum do ano", com Hill sendo apontado segundo melhor compositor e quarto melhor pianista. Na opinião dos leitores da mesma DownBeat, conforme o resultado do 71st Annual DB Readers Poll publicado em Dezembro último, "Time Lines" ficou em terceiro lugar na lista de melhores álbuns (atrás apenas do campeão "Without A Song", de Sonny Rollins, e de "Sangam" de Charles Lloyd), levando a Hill a aparecer em segundo lugar como compositor (perdeu para Maria Schneider) e em oitavo como pianista.

Na edição de Fevereiro de 2007 da DownBeat, Hill voltou a ser destaque por conta da primeira apresentação mundial, realizado no Merkin Hall de NY, do repertório do álbum "Passing Ships", gravado em 1969 mas lançado somente em 2003 após as fitas terem sido descobertas pelo incansável produtor Michael Cuscuna. Como dizem aqui, "Rest in Peace".

Composer and pianist Andrew Hill's died at 4 a.m. today, April 20, 2007,
several years after being diagnosed with lung cancer. He was 75 years
old and lived in Jersey City, NJ.

Hill, born June 30, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois (contrary to some
previously published places and dates), had a lengthy
international career as performer and recording artist, and educator
(at Portland State University; he also gave master classes at New
York University, and elsewhere; he leaves a voluminous and highly
varied recorded legacy, dating from the 1950s (So In Love) to his
2006 trio album Time Lines (Blue Note), named to many critics' top
ten lists. Hill is survived by his wife Joanne Robinson Hill, and a
neice, nephew and cousin, besides a devoted coterie of friends,
typically creative artists and perceptive fans.

As announced on April 11, Andrew Hill will receive an honorary
doctorate of music degree from Berklee College of Music at
commencement May 12; other honorees "for their achievements in the
world of music, and for their enduring contributions to American and
international culture" this year are Gloria and Emilio Estefan, and
The Edge; this distinction has perviously been extended to Duke
Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Quincy Jones and Ahmet
Ertegun, among a few others. A press release from Berklee can be
obtained from Allen Bush, Office of Public Information, 617-747-2658
or at the school's website.

On April 3, 2007 Boosey & Hawkes music publishers announced the
addition of Andrew Hill "to its distinguished roster of composers"
whose works will be promulgated through its auspices. For information
on that agreement, contact Adina Williams, via the B&H jazz page at .

Andrew was voted Jazz Composer of the Year by the Jazz Journalists
Association four times, most recently in 2006; he received the 2003
JazzPar Award, and was one of the first to receive a Doris Duke
Foundation Award for jazz composers. His recordings have been on Blue
Note, Mosaic, Palmetto and Black Saint/Soul Note, among other labels.

In the 71st Annual DownBeat Readers Poll (December 2006 issue), "Time Lines" placed third in the "Jazz Album" category with Hill appearing as # 2 Composer and # 8 Pianist. Some months, in the DB August issue, "Time Lines" had already been voted "Jazz Album of the Year" in the 54th Annual DownBeat Critics Poll, with Hill placing # 2 as Composer and # 4 as Pianist.

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