New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


Event listings are always free at NJ Stage. Click here to add your event!

Cynthia Hilts and Lyric Fury Celebrate CD Release At Trumpets In Montclair

Cynthia Hilts and Lyric Fury Celebrate CD Release At Trumpets In Montclair

(MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- Twenty years ago, Brooklyn-based pianist/composer Cynthia Hilts was seeking to form a band as a vehicle for her brisk, striking originals. Her avant-meets-mainstream writing, as the band name Lyric Fury suggests, is demanding and defined by powerful contrasts.

Hilts and her octet have been honing a sound and a vision ever since, and their brilliant efforts are captured on their first recording together—the eponymous Lyric Fury—released on January 13th by Hilts’s Blond Coyote Records. They are celebrating the official New Jersey CD Release Party at Trumpets Jazz in Montclair, NJ on Saturday March 25th, sets at 8:00pm and 10:00pm. There is a $20 cover and $12 minimum. Tickets are also available online.

Lyric Fury boasts a lineup of top-drawer players with highly distinctive “A” games of their own. They include trumpet great and onetime Mingusite Jack Walrath, saxophonists Lisa Parrott and Lily White (who co-produced the album with Hilts), trombonist Deborah Weisz, cellist Marika Hughes, bassist Ratzo Harris, and drummer Scott Neumann.

The infectious opening track, “Those Basinites,” was inspired by the quirky residents of Basin, Montana, where Hilts did several residencies. But much of Hilts’s music, for which she writes her own poetic lyrics, responds to situations and events. “Previously a Thing,” a brash invocation that turns Horace Silver-style hard bop on its ear (dig White’s passionate tenor solo), was written after a breakup. The free-gliding “Blues for the Bronchs,” featuring out-of-sorts voicings and a ripping, hard-edged solo by Walrath, had its genesis in an unshakable case of bronchitis.

A seasoned peace activist, Hilts composed the album’s most lyrical and deeply affecting work, “Peace Now,” following the outbreak of the Iraq War. Her vocal—part scat, part chant, part heartfelt plea—is framed by the dark tones of Parrott’s baritone and Hughes’s cello and carried by bright rhythms. “Teacher,” with its delicate piano introduction and South African lilt, is a prayer for a spiritual leader.



 


Forming the octet proved a dream achievement in many ways. “I have always been a loner,” Hilts says. “I didn’t understand the value of community. But I certainly do now, having benefited so much from the openness and contributions of these musicians. When I bring in a new piece, they understand not to try and do something new with it right away, even in cases where I haven’t written something right. They sublimate their individuality for a moment or two. And during performances of the music, they’re always coming up with surprises. But it all works out in the end.”

Born and raised in Tucson, Cynthia Hilts grew up in a musical family. She went on to study jazz composition and arranging at Berklee College of Music with, among others, the late trumpeter and big band leader Herb Pomeroy, who also taught the likes of Gary Burton, Gary McFarland, and Toshiko Akiyoshi. “I was so excited to be there,” she says. “Herb taught harmonic subtleties with great precision and humor, for instance in his class ‘Writing in the Style of Duke Ellington.’”

Hilts moved to New York City in the early '90s. After appearing on a free jazz album, Invite the Unexpected, with Mike Ellis, George Garzone, Graham Haynes, and Cecil McBee, she wrote and recorded her first album, Stars Down to the Ground, in Montana. Featuring local players, the 2000 release was commissioned by the Montana Artists Refuge—“the first time I’d been treated as a royal composer,” Hilts jokes.

Her self-produced second album, Second Story Breeze (2008), showcased her distinctive singing, soulful post-bop piano playing, and sometimes daring arranging in a heady trio setting featuring bassist Ron McClure and drummer Jeff Williams.

After her time at Berklee, Hilts gained valuable experience in such places as San Francisco, Florida, Sweden, and France. She has performed in a variety of settings, including reggae and calypso bands (hear the reggae-fied “Jam & Toast” on the new album). She has contributed to film documentaries and has served as musical director for theater productions. She’s also an active visual artist.

Hilts is most at home, however, in Lyric Fury—the name of which came to her without any brainstorming or fanfare. “The group only expands my version of what the music should be, of who I am musically as a person,” she says. “It’s a real labor of love.”

Cynthia Hilts and Lyric Fury will celebrate the release of their new CD in New Jersey with a performance at Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair, NJ, on March 25th. Looking ahead, the band is also booked at New York’s Baha’i Center, part of the Jazz Tuesdays series, on April 18; and at the Jazz on the Lake Festival in Lake George, NY September 16-17.



originally published: 2017-03-19 00:00:00


Features You Might Like


Colossal Street Jam Takin’ it to the Roof  With Their first CD in 20 Years!
Colossal Street Jam Takin’ it to the Roof With Their first CD in 20 Years!
“YES!” Chris Botti LIVE! at BergenPAC
“YES!” Chris Botti LIVE! at BergenPAC
“I LOVE IT!” Decades Rewind LIVE! at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre
“I LOVE IT!” Decades Rewind LIVE! at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre
Makin Waves Comes to NJ Stage
Makin Waves Comes to NJ Stage
Show Previews

Bluegrass Greats Del & Dawg To Come To The Newton Theatre
Bluegrass Greats Del & Dawg To Come To The Newton Theatre
 An Evening with Gilberto Santa Rosa At NJPAC In April 2017
An Evening with Gilberto Santa Rosa At NJPAC In April 2017
Brian Wilson - "Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary World Tour" To Come To NJPAC
Brian Wilson - "Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary World Tour" To Come To NJPAC
Roger Waters To Perform At Prudential Center On September 7
Roger Waters To Perform At Prudential Center On September 7






EVENT CALENDAR
Thursday, Mar 30, 2017

The Double Negatives @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

The Manhattans @ Harrahs Resort Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

Full Scale Riot live at the Stanhope House on 3/30/17 @ The Stanhope House, Stanhope - 6:00pm

Webb Wilder @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm



Add your events to the calendar for free,
Click here



View all events














 
















For more on our awards, click here








New Jersey Stage © 2017 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 | info@newjerseystage.com

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.